Corrie goes live again tonight and, as everyone prepares for ITV’s 60th anniversary event, the cast are trying really, really hard not to think about making mistakes.
Bloopers have become part of the fun of filming dramas and soaps live, but that doesn’t make the experience any less nerve-wracking for the actors involved, as we found out when we asked them how the preparations were going.
Maybe it’s cruel to point out on Twitter when things go wrong – but judging by these past blunders, soap stars have by and large been pretty good at keeping their performances on track.
Fingers crossed the Corrie crew keep that going tonight.
Eastenders: How’s Adam?
Jo Joyner might have been mortified after accidentally calling Ian Beale by his real name Adam Woodyatt, but if that was the worst that happened during EastEnders’ 30th annversary episode then fair play to the cast.
At least Joyner has recovered enough to make light of her super blooper. Maybe we should dust off the #leastyouknowitslive hashtag ready for tonight?
— Jo Joyner (@dollyjoyner) February 18, 2015
Coronation Street: is it a boy?
Never to be outdone by its BBC rival, Corrie has banked on its goof-proof actors to deliver the goods during live anniversary episodes. 2010’s 50th anniversary episode was almost seamless. Sally Webster wandered into the wreckage of Dev’s shop without a safety helmet despite being told she should be wearing one, but that’s more of a health and safety breach than a true gaffe.
As proof of how carefully viewers will watch for mistakes however, check out this tweet from X Factor contestant Diana Vickers. Jennie McAlpine had just acted her socks off as Fiz giving birth to daughter Hope live – but not everyone was impressed.
ooop mistake in corrie .. Someone said the baby was a boy ! INCORRECT
— Diana Vickers (@DianaVickers) December 9, 2010
You have been warned, Corrie.
EastEnders: in sickness and in health
Charlie Clements had his moment in the live-light when his character Bradley Branning was killed off during a live episode in 2010.
The fall from the Queen Vic was perfectly executed – the aftermath less so. Can you spot Bradley’s hand moving when it shouldn’t be? And what about Max Branning’s (Jake Wood) bizarre attempt to make himself retch by ramming his fingers down his throat? If only the cameras had cut away half a second earlier. Such small margins…
Will and Grace: no straight face
Ok, let’s move away from the soaps for a second. In 2005, US comedy Will and Grace broadcast not one, but two live versions of the episode Alive and Schticking – one for the West Coast of America, one for the East.
Performing a sitcom in front of a studio audience clearly raises the bar when it comes to live telly, and sometimes the actors just couldn’t cut it. No dropped lines, just a lot of corpsing – and not the Bradley Branning kind.
EastEnders: Scott stumbles
Another slight stumble from the 2010 episode: actor Scott Maslen struggles to get his words out. “It was a space and time moment. I was about to say ‘Can we go again?’ as we normally do,” Maslen said later. “It was horrible, it lasted for a month, waking up and saying ‘I know the line’.”
Maslen probably should have been ready for it, especially as he had already appeared in a live episode of The Bill, featuring car crashes, shootouts and hostage negotiations. “Will the actors survive?” joked the ITV continuity announcer just before the episode aired in 2005.
The West Wing: political perfection
Finally, a way to nail a live episode. Like Will and Grace, The West Wing’s live presidential debate episode in 2005 had to be performed twice for both sides of the USA.
The episode was filmed as a straight-up open debate between Congressman Matt Santos and Senator Arnold Vinick. Luckily for them, the back-and-forth dialogue and improvised arguments made the whole thing look practically word perfect – and nobody had to ‘Walk and Talk’ down a long White House corridor.
Coronation Street’s live episode airs tonight at 7:30pm on ITV