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    Coronation Street

    Coronation Street

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    ITV
    Coronation Street is credited as being one of the longest running soaps in the world and the longest running television soap in Britain (with the longest running overall being The Archers on BBC radio). The show has been on British TV screens since 1960 and has aired over 6,000 episodes. Coronation Street was created by Tony Warren, who drew on his own experiences living in Salford when developing the show for Granada Television in Manchester. The show's working title was Florizel Street. In a memo from Tony Warren to Granada, he explains the basis of the show: "A fascinating freemasonary, a volume of unwritten rules. These are the driving forces behind life in a working class street in the north of England. The purpose of Florizel Street is to examine a community of this nature, and to entertain." The first episode of Coronation Street, written by Tony Warren and containing the first airing of the iconic theme music (composed by Eric Spear), was transmitted live at 7.00pm on Friday 9th December 1960 and was an instant success due to its eliment of "realism". The series began as a twice weekly serial (airing originally on Wednesdays and Fridays) and was initially only commissioned for twelve episodes but due to the series' success with the viewers it became a perminant fixture, soon changing its transmission days to Monday and Wednesdays. Almost 30 years later the number of episodes increased to three per week in 1989 (additional episode on Fridays) and then to four in 1996 (additional episode on Sundays). Recently that has increased again with a second episode being added on a Monday night at 8.30, leaving a half hour gap between the end of the first episode of the evening and the start of the second. Coronation Street, Corrie or The Street (however you know it) has been at the top of the ratings for most of it's long run and despite tough competition from new soaps and even new TV channels it remains the highest rated programme on British television. William Roache is now the only original cast member remaining - he's played Ken Barlow since episode one. The Set: In early 1960, after Granada Television commissioned twelve episodes of Coronation Street, the set designer Denis Parkin was taken on a tour of Salford by series creator Tony Warren for inspiration on the set. The street's set was based on Archie Street in the Ordsall district, a film shot of which was used in the opening credits of the programme from 1960 to 1964. Archie Street itself was knocked down in 1971. The original television set was built indoors, the cobbles and paving slabs were painted to the floor and the houses were made out of wood. The set was so big and the studio so small that it had to be erected in two parts which explains why shots of the entire street were not seen until 1968 when Granada decided that the interior set was too limiting and so re-erected the set outside in a yard rented from British Railways on Grape Street on Manchester, behind the Granada studios. The cast hated it! They complained that it was draughty and cold; nevertheless it was soon re-built in bricks and mortar and survived until the end of the 1970s when the decision was made to incorporate the set into the Granada Studios Tour. By 1982 a brand new set had been erected on a new site just a few hundred yards away. When the set was complete it was opened by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The new set was first seen on-screen in episode 2210, broadcast on Monday 7 June 1982. From 1982 up until 1999, it was possible for fans of the show to visit the exterior set as part of the Granada Studios Tour. With the closure of the tour, Granada were able to expanded the exterior set to incorporate further buildings on Rosamund Street (the Health Centre) and later on Victoria Street (Roy's Rolls & Elliot and Son). Coronation Street currently airs on the following days in the UK: Monday @ 7.30pm & 8.30pm, Wednesday @ 7.30pm, Friday @ 7.30pm, Sunday @ 7.30pm. Note: This episode guide mirrors the episode numbers that are used by Granada Television. These, in turn, are based on the episode production numbers. On the odd occasion over the years these have proven to be slightly haphazard. To explain; the first episode of the programme was production code P228/1, the second P228/2, etc. In 1970, the production team reached episode 999 with the episode that was broadcast on Wednesday 19th August that year. The next episode, the 1000th, was not given the production code of P228/1000 but instead was given the new production code of P694 and the number 1! (To confuse matters more, Granada also publicised episode 999 as the 1000th episode!). The actual 1000th episode was therefore known as episode P694/1. As the seventies went on, two episodes (P694/26 and P694/27) were edited down into one half-hour episode, supposedly because Doris Speed - playing Annie Walker - was ill, and four episode numbers were not used at all - P694/503, P694/504, P694/505 and P694/549. You will therefore not find episodes 1503, 1504, 1505 or 1549 in this guide - because they were never made! When the 4000th episode was broadcast in April 1996, Granada's production codes skipped from P694/2999 to P694/4000, thereby mirroring better the actual episode number being shown and publicised. The fact remains though that other episode numbers have been skipped or counted as double episodes and therefore the publicity over episodes such as number 6000 in 2005 are a few episodes out. This is no big secret and, on occasion, comments have appeared in the UK press about this anomoly.moreless
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    Danger Man

    Danger Man

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    The Danger Man is back! One of the most popular characters ever introduced to television screens, the original Danger Man swept the world, bringing international fame to the talented and good-looking star, Patrick McGoohan. Danger Man is now produced as one-hour programs, with vivid new stories which take Special Security Agent John Drake into even more tensely dramatic adventures in every part of the globe. He is a man who jousts with danger, a man who takes calculated risks, a man dedicated to his ideals. He respects his adversaries, and he respects the beautiful women who came into his life. Big-name stars support Patrick McGoohan throughout the series, and the producer is once again Ralph Smart, the man who created and devised Danger Man. All the episodes are directed by leading motion pictures directors who are masters of their craft. Excitement and suspense are the keynotes of stories which live up to the title. The emphasis is on Danger.moreless
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    Probation Officer

    Probation Officer

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    ITV (ended 1960)
    Based on real-life court cases, the show centred on the work of individual probation officers, men and women responsible for the supervision of offenders released into the community with restrictions on their movements or associations. Probation Officer was an ATV production, and the first one-hour drama series to be carried on the ITV network.moreless
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    The Champions

    The Champions

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    ITV (ended 1969)
    Welcome to The Champions guide at TV.com. "Craig Sterling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett… These are the Champions. "Endowed with the qualities and skills of superhumans - qualities and skills, both physical and mental, to the peak of human performance. Gifts given to them by an unknown race of people, when their 'plane crashed near a lost civilisation in Tibet. Now, with their secrets known only to them, they are able to use their fantastic powers to their best advantage… as the Champions of law, order and justice. Operators of the international agency, Nemesis!" The Champions was the first production from the team of Dennis Spooner and Monty Berman. Their company Scoton made the series for ITC in 1967 and established the format for many future ITC productions of casting three actors as the heroes.moreless
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    Man in a Suitcase

    Man in a Suitcase

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    Welcome to the Man in a Suitcase guide at TV.com.

    Man in a Suitcase was filmed in and around Pinewood Studios and on location in London during 1966/7. A rough, tough adventure series, which, thanks to the strength, charisma and capability of the leading player, Texan method actor, Richard Bradford, still continues to enthral and entertain audiences today.

    McGill is a no nonsense hero, an ex-CIA Agent unjustly accused of treason by his own people. Subsequently he is compelled to travel the world making his living in the harsh and sometimes terrifying world of a modern-day bounty hunter.

    Man in a Suitcase was an ITC production for ITC World Wide.

    The complete series is now available on DVD: from Network DVD in the UK and Umbrella DVDs in Australia.moreless
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    Crossroads (1964)

    Crossroads (1964)

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    ITV (ended 1988)
    Soap opera that was based around a midlands Motel called Crossroads. Set in the sleepy village of Kings Oak, this show followed the family staff and guests to the motel and the entangled problems that they all had. The show was originally produced by Associated Television (ATV) and then from 1981 onwards was made by Central Independent Television. 4510 episodes were made which (at that point) was more than Coronation Street, four years its senior. The series did return 13 years later on March 5th 2001, but this time no longer a motel, but a four star hotel.moreless
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    The Prisoner (UK)

    The Prisoner (UK)

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    'The Prisoner' is about a man who is kidnapped from his London home, and wakes up in a strange Village, where he is known only by the name Number Six. Various Village Officers-in-Charge, always referred to as Number Two, set about trying to find out why Number Six resigned his job as a secret agent. Number Six is interrogated, brainwashed, and manipulated by the strange powers behind the mysterious Village. This intriguing series first went to air in 1968. It was ahead of its time then, and continues to intrigue today. It was very much the brain-child of Patrick McGoohan, who not only starred as Number Six, but was also instrumental in bringing the series to fruition.moreless
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    Callan

    Callan

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    ITV (ended 1972)
    Welcome to the Callan guide at TV.com.

    David Callan, only good at one thing, well maybe two, killing people and collecting toy soldiers. He worked for a secret government agency called the Section under Hunter, head of the Section. The Section's speciality was 'disposing' of people through bribery, frame-ups, blackmail and very often death.

    Callan was a solitary figure whose only, and sometimes reluctant, ally was a smelly snivelling small-time crook called Lonely. He defied his superiors on more than one occasion and became a liability to them because he cared too much. The Section itself had often tried to rid themselves of Callan, permanently, but ended up relying on his expertise or being out-maneuvered by it.

    After a successful pilot, a series was commissioned and ran to four seasons, the latter two in colour. There was also a feature film, Callan (1974) and a one-off TV film, Wet Job in 1981.moreless
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    The Flying Doctor

    The Flying Doctor

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    ITV (ended 1960)
    The Flying Doctor, a British Drama/Action series that rolled the stories of Dr. Greg Graham (The Flying Doctor), and his team, Mary Meredith (the nurse), Dr. Jim Harrison (the blind Dr.), Charley Wood (the pilot), and Alec MacLeod (the Radio Operator), as they answer medical calls and fly around the country and even across seas, to help the ones in need. During their adventures, they learn a thing or two about life, deal with different society levels, and have to take care of themselves more than once.
    The Flying Doctor is based on a Radio program on the BBC that broadcasted the experiences of a flying medical team.moreless
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    Gazette

    Gazette

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    British military drama