Coronation Street came one step closer to its move to MediaCityUK when Manchester Evening News competition winner Denise Thomas laid the last official cobble on the show’s new set.
Mrs Thomas, from Chorlton, correctly answered 12 Street-based questions and was selected at random to lay the cobble outside Dev’s corner shop in the company of actors Alan Halsall (Tyrone), Jennie McAlpine (Fiz) and Georgia May Foote (Katy). Of her role today, she said:
“I was incredibly nervous beforehand but the cast were so welcoming and friendly. They made me feel at home.”
Speaking about her devotion to the ITV soap, Mrs Thomas – a retired podiatry assistant – added to the newspaper: “The acting is brilliant. I do get involved. I was quite upset when Tyrone was a victim of domestic violence. I’m not surprised he won an award, he’s such a good actor – they all are. My husband, Gwyn, helped me with the answers. He has got a fantastic memory. He claims he doesn’t watch it but he clearly does!”
Construction is expected to continue until the end of 2013, while the date that Corrie moves away from its Quay Street site in central Manchester has yet to be finalised.
The current Coronation Street set was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982 and has been expanded and updated since that time. However, the site at MediaCityUK, situated on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, is expected to bring forth new changes.
Back in December 2012, Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully, confirmed that the famous cobbles will be made wide enough to let two cars pass each other:
“There will probably be loads of scenes written in with two cars passing each other,” Cotton commented. “They will be using exactly the same formation of cobbles as are in the current set but the street will be wider. At the moment, only one car can go down.”
Producer Stuart Blackburn said of today’s milestone occasion: "It really is an historic day and I am delighted that Denise has won this competition because she is a proper Corrie fan. It’s really surreal that I should be here standing on Coronation Street when I have just come from Coronation Street but here we are at a completely new set with a new set of cobbles that is going to be here for the next 50 to 100 years.”