Coronation Street: The longest living TV soap opera
The 60s were the most fruitful period for TV soap operas. This extremely popular genre has been squeezed out of TV screens nowadays, and many famous soap operas have stopped being broadcasted. However, one of them, the British soap opera Coronation Street, still has an extraordinary run. It debuted on 9th December 1960, and it is the longest-running television soap opera of all time. Its record is listed in the Guinness World records. This show is well-known for its strong characters and light-hearted humour. A down-to-earth working-class community dominates this 60 season-long TV show.
Undoubtedly, it is the number one TV show in Europe. This year, Coronation Street premiered its 10,000th episode on 7th February and the episode counter is currently at the number 10,068. Each episode averages around seven million viewers, which you must admit is a wide fanbase. Particular episodes have been more popular than real-life events. For example, the episode from 2005 in which Deirdre Rachid and Ken Barlow remarried drew 17 million watchers, while the royal wedding between Prince Charles and Camila Parker-Bowles had 4 million viewers less.
The longest-serving soap opera actor of all time comes from Coronation Street. William Roache, who plays the character Ken Barlow, has featured in all 60 seasons of the show. He is the only cast member who has been in the show from its start. Roache, who is 86 now, got his big break in the very first episode of Coronation Street, and has appeared in 4,629 episodes. His crucial role has remained intact ever since. He was 28 when he showed for the first time and has, amazingly, been there from the very beginning. Roache is not only the longest-serving actor in TV soap operas, but in any TV serial in the history of television. Eileen Derbyshire, who plays Emily Bishop in Coronation Street, is right behind Roache by appearances in TV soap opera shows. Until 2019, Eileen made appearances in 55 seasons with a total of 3,298 episodes.
Being the longest-living TV soap opera of all time and having the longest-serving actor are not the only records kept by Coronation Street. This TV show became home to an actor with the longest gap between appearances. Kenneth Cope, who plays Jed Stone, made his return to the show in 2008 after appearing for the last time in 1966. However, Coronation Street didn’t stop there, as it managed to beat its own record. It brought back Philip Lowrie and his character Dennis Tanner after a 43-year long break. The last episode where Lowrie appeared was broadcast back in 1968, and he made his return in 2011. Thanks to his reappearance, Coronation Street made it to the Guinness World records again.
Europe’s most popular TV soap opera has won lots of prizes. Coronation Street has been nominated for different awards 243 times, and been awarded 173 times. The most important is that the counter doesn’t stop there. Since the show is still running and has a significant fanbase, a lot of success is still ahead for this cult soap opera.
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