Saturday, 22 December 2012

Coronation Street Special

Where to start with Coronation Street? It's been entertaining viewers since it began way back in 1928, and it's been estimated that the average UK citizen has seen 39,482 episodes. Not only that, but 47% of the UK population have appeared in it at least once, and 26% of those have slept with Deirdre Barlow.

You weren't the first, mate.
Coronation Street takes its name from the Coronation Chicken which is famously served in the Rovers Revenge, the pub where most of the action in the show takes place. It was just outside the Rovers that "Dirty" Den Watts was shot by a bunch of daffodils, an incident now widely believed to have been the result of some dodgy LSD at a scriptwriters' meeting.

A vast range of colourful characters have trodden the piss-soaked cobbles over the years, including Hilda Ogden, Elsie Tanner, Arthur Fowler, Betty Hotpot, "Curly" Webster, Fred The Butcher, Dave The Milkman, Alan "Fingers" Bradley and the one that bloke does the impression of.

The best-loved and most highly-paid star of The Street, however, is the cat that appears on the roof in the opening credits. Contrary to popular belief, the sequence is filmed again for each episode, and the cat is flown in specially from home. The current cat, for example, lives in Belgium. Now you know where your licence fee goes.

The fossilised remains of Nipple, the first cat to appear in the famous scenes.

Anyway, we'll have to crack on here because we've got THREE of The Street's finest to get through. Three loveable munchkins who've taken time out from their busy filming schedules to share their biscuit-related preferences with us.

Simon Gregson

Simon "Greggs" Gregson plays Steve "Steve" MacDonald, a retired vacuum cleaner salesman who these days can usually be found in the Rovers, either slumped over the bar or asleep on the toilet. In his prime, however, Steve was something of a sexual athlete, and is the subject of a filthy song that the regulars sometimes sing towards the end of the evening.

Steve "Steve" Steve.

@clubfoot25 asked Simon about his favourite biccy, and the old boy didn't let us down:

That's not really Simon in his picture, by the way, and we're not convinced about @clubfoot25's either. Could be anyone behind that beard.

"Chocky" Digestives, as Simon calls them. The man's an imbecile.

Alan Halsall

Alan was an instant hit with his portayal of Tyrone Dobbs, the cheeky schoolboy with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. He has been playing the part since he was nine, which is the legal minimum age for children to appear on television. Now thirteen, Tyrone has taken to hanging around in the alley with his mates, drinking cheap cider and threatening pensioners. Rumours persist about an upcoming storyline about an underage pregnancy, or possibly a crack habit, which should give viewing figures a much-needed boost.

Tyrone rehearsing with his band, Whistling Ringpiece.

@Jigglypuff2344 - we don't make these names up, you know - asked Alan AND Simon about biscuits, but only Alan bothered to reply:

We like to think that Alan eats his Hobnobs, perhaps dipped in a cup of tea, whereas Tyrone would probably crush them up and try to smoke them, or throw them at passers-by.

Chocolate Hobnobs. Mmmmmm indeed.

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Julie plays Hayley Crapper, one of the most complex characters in the show. Over the past fifteen years she has undergone no less than seven sex-change operations, or gender re-alignment, or whatever the hell it's called these days. Born Arthur in 1958, she has since been Lucy, Bernard, Sharon, Michael, Alice and Kevin before becoming Hayley three years ago. At first it looked as if she was finally happy with her identity, but lately she has been spotted using the gents toilet in the Rovers, and William Hill have stopped taking bets.

Julie as 'Bernard' in the late seventies.

@samjustsamyeah did the honours:

As controversial off-screen as on, Julie has gone for a biscuit that isn't really a biscuit at all, the Tunnock's Teacake. We let Howard Marks have them as his choice, but we're feeling stroppy today, and anyway no one's picked happy faces yet, so we're going with that.

Think they're actually called SMILEY faces, but let's not split hairs.

So there you have it. Now you know more about Coronation Street than you did five minutes ago, and you've had a peek into the biscuit tins of three of its brightest stars. Now go and find something useful to do. Go on.

By @ricardopresto

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Tom Robinson

By guest blogger @Chops_Top_Fives

Mr Tom Robinson of the Tom Robinson Band. Coincidence?

“British police are the best in the world”, claimed lead singer of the Tom Robinson Band…er…Tom Robinson in his, still anthemic, 1978 hit Glad To Be Gay. He was kidding though.  What he really meant was they’re a bunch of queer-bashing bastards. Thankfully, the country has moved on since then and our trusted law enforcers are upstanding pillars of communities up and down our great...oh. 

Well, never mind them because the gay and lesbian of our integrated and tolerant melting pot of a country are now considered equals, free as they are to marry and share their love openly...oh.

He also did that 2, 4, 6, 8 Motorway song! Yeah. Motorways are good. Everyone loves motorways, the stress-free mass-transit arteries of our green and pleasant land. Oh...

You know what though, fuck all that! I think bridges can be built between all communities; black, white, Asian, gay, straight, punk, hipster, mod, rocker; through the power of biscuits.  I’m pretty sure the police eat biscuits...when Greggs have run out of doughnuts. I eat biscuits, you eat biscuits, we ALL eat biscuits. YES!  Even gay punk/new-wave bass guitarists/radio DJs eat biscuits. And what is Tom’s biscuit of choice? 

The fine (and exclusive) Bahlsen Choco Leibniz.

So there you have it.  The choice of one of the most controversial front-men of the late 70s and early 80s. Pretty controversial and punk, I’m sure you’ll all agree?

Tom can be heard on your new-fangled digital radios on BBC 6Music on Saturday and Sunday, playing lots of new music for youngsters. He’s now married with two kids, somewhat controversially, but described himself as “a gay man who happens to be in love with a woman”. Well, after researching this, I must admit that I’m a straight man who happens to like a gay man who happens to be in love with a woman rather a lot more than I did before the article. Tom’s got his own website if you want to know more, and you can follow him on Twitter.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Coleen Nolan

By guest blogger @jackiepatie

Coleen in full-on GLAM mode.

Shoop shoop shoop. Shoobydoobyshoop (shoop shoop shoop). Yeah. YEAH.
Yes, I'm in the mood for dancing, but I have to write this shite instead. The boob tube and camel toe will have to wait till later.

Right. Coleen Nolan. She was in The Nolans. Only people who have the surname Nolan are allowed to be in The Nolans. The Nolans had run out of Nolans, so they let Coleen join even though she was VERY young (NOBODY mention Savile). I hope she didn't CHEAT and PRETEND her surname was Nolan, come to think of it. Coleen didn't actually do I'm In The Mood For Dancing, but historical accuracy has never been a strong point with The Biscuits, so we won't worry about that.

That's Coleen on the left. She was just a CHILD.

Here are The Nolans doing I'm In The Mood For Dancing IN JAPANESE. How fucking clever is that? Coleen was with them by this point. She's the one in the second worst jacket.

One of the other Nolans went on to be in Brookside. Can't remember who she played. Another one of The Nolans didn't look very friendly, so we don't like her. Bitch. Didn't they have an ugly brother? I might be thinking of The Corrs.

I did actually do some cursory research for this, and discovered Coleen isn't in Loose Women any more. She left. But none of us watch Loose Women, because we're all too cool, right?

A rare shot of Coleen on the day she decided to leave Loose Women.

Coleen also did This Morning with John Leslie (NOBODY mention Leslie). Twiggy did it when Coleen wasn't there. I don't like Twiggy. Hard faced. Bet she didn't let Leslie muck her about.

Coleen came runner up to somebody else in Sleleb Big Brother. Five of us across the country watched it. We all felt sorry for Coleen because horrible old hag Bet Lynch bullied her and made her cry. Just remembered, Julian Clary won it. (He's gay, you know.)

Coleen practising for next year's Britain's Got Talent.

In her personal life, Coleen was married to Shane Ritchie (NOBODY mention Ritchie) (Although, who IS Kat having an affair with? I think it's Derek). Now Coleen is married to another person, which is nice.

Biscuits. Somebody called @riksure asked Coleen the biscuit thing. He seems to have fucked off or changed his name or something. Thanks anyway, Rik.

Here is Coleen's answer:

Has to be Cadbury's, eh? Bit specific. Some of these celebs are so bloody fussy.

A selection of very specific Cadbury's Chocolate Digestives.

Anyway, thank you, Coleen. Give Ritchie a slap round the back of the head from me when you see him, could you? No reason. Just because.