Coronation Street

Season 1 Episode 1

Fri 9 Dec, 1960

Aired Tuesday 7:30 PM Dec 09, 1960 on ITV
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Fri 9 Dec, 1960
There's a new arrival in Coronation Street: Florrie Lindley, who is taking over the Corner Shop at No. 15 from the previous owner Elsie Lappin who stays to show her the ropes on her first day. Meanwhile, at No. 11 Elsie Tanner is on at her son, Dennis, to get some work but he reminds her that it's not easy for someone who's just got out of prison. There's also a misunderstanding when Elsie accuses Dennis of taking money from her purse when in fact it was her married daughter Linda who had borrowed it and forgot to say so. Also, Linda tells Elsie that she's leaving her husband, Ivan Cheveski, a Pole she married two years previously. Elsie says she'll believe it when she sees it! At number 3, there's unrest at the Barlow's house. Twenty-one year old student Kenneth Barlow has an argument with his postman father, Frank, when he announces that he's met a girl, Susan Cunningham, and he's taking her to the Imperial Hotel. Frank argues that Ken has all but forgotten his working class roots. His mother, Ida, works in the kitchens there and he's not having Ken show her up. Ken takes refuge in the pub at the end of the street - the Rovers Return - where he's served by landlady Annie Walker, and then at No. 1 where he speaks to his old friend, pensioner Albert Tatlock. Florrie gets to know the locals including pensioner Ena Sharples, caretaker of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall across the street. Ken's mother Ida interrupts Ken and Albert's chat to tell him that Susan's turned up at their house. He rushes round to meet her.moreless

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  • A great beginning!

    An excellent first episode which can perhaps seem a bit slow. When watched in conjunction with episode 2 (which was taped immediately after the live transmission of the first episode), the slower pacing makes a lot more sense as it would be wrong to bombard the audience with so much background and so many characters. It would perhaps be a cliche to say that all of the major star are introduced in this first episode as several integral characters to the early 1960's are presented here but it is true that five characters are introduced who would be with the programme until the early 1980's (Elsie Tanner, Ken Barlow, Annie Walker, Ena Sharples and Albert Tatlock) and one of them - Ken Barlow - is still with the programme as of 2005! As a Mancunian, I feel that the sense of those back streets in the early sixties is brilliantly captured and the feeling of community. so important in this programme's history, well realised. An excellent beginning to this programme's long continuation!moreless
Noël Dyson

Noël Dyson

Ida Barlow (1960-1961)

Violet Carson

Violet Carson

Ena Sharples (1960-1980)

Alan Rothwell

Alan Rothwell

David Barlow (1960-1968)

Betty Alberge

Betty Alberge

Florrie Lindley (1960 - 1965)

William Roache

William Roache

Ken Barlow (1960 - )

Anne Cunningham

Anne Cunningham

Linda Tanner Cheveski (1960-1984)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • This episode was featured on the Network DVD "Coronation Street - 1960" released in 2006.

    • As well as being the first episode of "Coronation Street" to be broadcast, this episode of the programme was also the very first to be repeated. Until 1981, no episode was ever repeated. This was supposedly due to a strict policy on the part of Granada TV who did not wish to confuse viewers (although actors for old 'out of contract' programmes could apparently veto second showings and it is alleged that Philip Lowrie, who played Dennis Tanner, was so disenchanted with his time on the programme that he refused until 1981 to grant permission to allow repeats).
      The episode was repeated at 10.30pm on Monday 4th May 1981 as part of a week-long series of repeats to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Granada TV. The whole of the ITV network joined in these special repeats, therefore viewers in the Newcastle and Birmingham regions were given their first chance to see episode 1 (It had not been broadcast originally there).
      As the episode had been broadcast live, Granada's recording of it included all of the original adverts and these were broadcast too in this repeat showing.
      The other five episodes to be repeated in this week were:
      5/5/81 - The Gas Leak (episode 16)
      6/5/81 - Emily jilts Swindley (episode 375)
      7/5/81 - The viaduct collapse (episode 668)
      8/5/81 - Elsie and Steve's wedding (episode 702)
      9/5/81 - The Lakes coach crash (episode 923)
      The repeats were very successful and six months later and shorter set of episodes were repeated to celebrate the programme's own 21st anniversary.

    • The very first episode of Coronation Street was broadcast live from Studio 2 at Granada studios in Manchester at 7pm on Friday 9th December, 1960. It aired to all the existing regions on the 5-year-old ITV network with the exception of Tyne Tees TV in the North East of England (who started transmission with episode 14 on Wednesday 25th January 1961) and ATV Midlands (who started with episode 25 on Monday 6th March 1961 when the programme was fully networked for the first time). It should however be noted that there were several ITV stations that had not yet started broadcasting - Westward, Border, Grampian, Channel TV and Wales TV. Within a year, the programme was No 1 in the UK charts and reaching an international audience.

    • First appearances of following regular characters (with the dates of their last appearances in brackets):
      Ena Sharples (2 April 1980)
      Elsie Tanner (4 January 1984)
      Annie Walker (12 October 1983)
      Albert Tatlock (25 January 1984)
      Dennis Tanner (12 June 1968)
      Florrie Lindley (02 June 1965)
      Frank Barlow (03 February 1971)
      Ida Barlow (06 September 1961)
      David Barlow (10 April 1968)
      Linda Cheveski (20 June 1984)
      and, of course, Ken Barlow who is still in the show

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Elsie Tanner: (To her son, Dennis) Sometimes I wish we were more like them Barlows. At least they're not rowin' all the time!

  • NOTES (0)