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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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    Emmerdale

    Emmerdale

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    ITV
    Emmerdale first screened on ITV on the 16th of October 1972, which makes it one of the longest running soaps in British Television History.
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    Rainbow

    Rainbow

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    ITV (ended 1992)
    Rainbow ran on ITV for 20 years, mostly at lunchtimes. It became one of the highest rating children shows of all time and one of most enduringly popular. After over 1500 shows, Rainbow came to an end in 1992, but the show remains a massive success with people of all ages.moreless
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    Upstairs, Downstairs

    Upstairs, Downstairs

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    ITV (ended 1975)
    Upstairs, Downstairs follows the rich Bellamy family and their servants at their luxurious house in London. The show takes place between 1903-1930 and gives us an insight of the good old days. Emmy Awards and Nominations Winners in bold Outstanding Drama Series 1974 - PBS - Rex Firkin, Executive Producer; John Hawkesworth, Producer 1975 - PBS - Rex Firkin, Executive Producer; John Hawkesworth, Producer 1977 - PBS - John Hawkesworth, Producer; Joan Sullivan, Producer Outstanding Limited Series 1976 - PBS - Rex Firkin, Executive Producer; John Hawkesworth, Producer Outstanding Directing In A Drama Series 1975 - PBS - Bill Bain, Director 1976 - PBS - Christopher Hodson, Director Outstanding Writing In A Drama Series 1975 - PBS - John Hawkesworth, Writer 1975 - PBS - Alfred Shaughnessy, Writer 1976 - PBS - Alfred Shaughnessy, Writer Best Lead Actress In A Drama Series 1974 - PBS - Jean Marsh 1975 - PBS - Jean Marsh Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series 1976 - PBS - Jean Marsh Outstanding Continuing Performance By A Supporting Actress In A Drama Series 1975 - PBS - Angela Baddeley 1976 - PBS - Angela Baddeley 1977 - PBS - Jacqueline Tong Outstanding Single Performance By A Supporting Actor In A Drama Series 1976 - PBS - Gordon Jackson moreless
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    UFO

    UFO

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    ITV (ended 1973)
    Around 1970, the British and American governments receive incontrovertible evidence that aliens exist and are abducting humans. In cooperation with the United Nations, they set up a secret worldwide organization, SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation), which operates in the 1980s. With resources and equipment under the seas, in the air, on land, in orbit and on the Moon, SHADO's purpose is to stop the alien incursions and find out why the aliens want humans.

    SHADO is based in England, with headquarters beneath Harlington-Straker Studios, a working motion picture studio constructed purely as a cover for SHADO. Its uppermost echelon was made up of a commander and colonels.

    Commander Ed Straker - SHADO's commander in chief, involved in the UFO program even before SHADO was formed. Formerly a USAF colonel, he sacrificed ten years of his life to get SHADO up and running. His cover is as chief executive of Harlington-Straker Studios.

    Colonel Alec Freeman - A friend of Straker from military service. When SHADO was first approved, Freeman became its first recruit on Straker's recommendation.

    Colonel Paul Foster - A test pilot who was nearly killed in a UFO incident, Foster impressed Straker with his resourcefulness, tenacity and unwillingness to accept anything but the truth.

    Colonel Virginia Lake - A brilliant systems designer and technician, the beautiful Colonel Lake took the place of Colonel Freeman in the second half of the season.

    The series was actually filmed in two blocks of episodes months apart because the original studio it was filmed at closed down. By the time production restarted, some of the cast was no longer available. Others had left soon after the series began either to avoid typecasting or because of dissatisfaction with very short-term contracts.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 Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

    The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

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    ITV (ended 1973)
    Welcome to The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes at TV.com. This British show dramatized twenty-six stories by writers of more or less the same era as Sherlock Holmes. They were all popular in their day, but are less well known today. Each episode stands alone and has its own cast, all from the top drawer of British acting talent. The show is in colour but is not available on DVD - while a very high quality production in its day, definitely of the standard required by the later US compendium Mystery, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes is almost forgotten now.moreless
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    Van der Valk

    Van der Valk

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    ITV (ended 1992)
    Welcome to the Van der Valk guide at TV.com. In his time with the Amsterdam Police, Commissaris Piet van der Valk has seen it all. His cynicism sometimes shocks even his assistant Johnny Kroon. Their caseload brings them into contact with the city's many subcultures from drug-users to sexual perverts. Van der Valk is known for his ability to break difficult cases by pursuing his famous hunches. However, his superior, Hoofdcommissaris Samson, is always more concerned with the political and public relations ramifications of van der Valk's investigations. The city meanwhile provides an attractive backdrop for the stories. The character of van der Valk was created by the author Nicolas Freeling in a popular series of novels, though none of the storylines in the televison series are directly based on the books. Van der Valk initially ran for two series, but was resurrected in 1977 by Thames Television's Euston Films subsidiary, shooting on location using 16mm colour film. A second revival followed in 1991. The theme tune, Eye Level, was very popular when the show was first broadcast, spending several weeks in the British music charts.moreless
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    The Pathfinders

    The Pathfinders

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    ITV (ended 1973)
    An adventures series about world war II aircrews. Their job was to fly ahead of the main force and find targets for bombers.
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    Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill

    Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill

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    ITV (ended 1974)
    This was a seven part mini-series based on the life of Jennie Jerome, the American heiress and mother of Sir Winston Churchill. Lee Remick starred in the title role for which she was nominated for an Emmy. The series originally aired in the United States as an installment of the long-running PBS program Great Performances after airing in Great Britain on ITV.moreless
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    Spearhead

    Spearhead

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    ITV (ended 1981)
    This British TV drama series shows what the British Army was like at the time. It uses an almost documentary style to show what life is like for the soldiers of the (fictional) B Company, 1st Battalion Royal Wessex Rangers, and their families. At the start of the series lead character Colour Sergeant 'Jacko' Jackson (Michael Billington) is selected to command 6 Platoon, a role usually reserved for officers, and the battalion is seen serving during an operational tour of Northern Ireland. After the first series young subaltern Lieutenant Ken Pickering (Martyn Jacobs) takes command of 6 Platoon and new episodes see the Royal Wessex Rangers serving as a mechanised infantry battalion based in West Germany (during the second series) and subsequently as resident light infantry battalion in Hong Kong (during the third series). As an unusually honest programme about British Army life and 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland in the 70s, Spearhead was a worthwhile achievement for British TV.moreless
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    Dickens of London

    Dickens of London

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    ITV (ended 1976)
    Dickens of London is a 13-part biographical miniseries chronicling the English writer Charles Dickens. Starting with his childhood as the son of an alcoholic whose dreams always seemed greater than reality, Dickens (Roy Dotrice) tells the story of his life and how it relates to his well known stories such as David Copperfield and Great Expectations while on a book tour in America. Each episode shows a different scene from Dickens life, including his first job at age 12, falling in love with his wife, Catherine Dickens (Adrienne Burgess), and his life's work as a successful writer. While the series does not touch on his relationship troubles later in life, it does go into his relationship with the Hogarth family in great detail. It also focuses on Dickens' relationship with his father, portraying their relationship as the reason for Dickens' own financial difficulties. For fans of Dickens' works, the series combines his most famous stories into the dialogue between the characters.moreless
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    Good Girl

    Good Girl

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    ITV (ended 1974)
    This show centered around Angie Botley (Julia Foster), her friends, family and co-workers. Angie is a "good girl" that wants everyone around her to be happy. Her good intentions often had the opposite effect and got her into trouble. For most of the shows six episodes she worked as a secretary for a TV personality that had met her when she was a masseuse.moreless
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    The Mallens

    The Mallens

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    ITV (ended 1979)
    British dramatic series
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    Disraeli

    Disraeli

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    ITV (ended 1978)
    British mini-series
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    Villains

    Villains

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    ITV (ended 1972)
    Villains was an anthology series of dramas looking at members of the British criminal classes. Villains was a LWT production for the ITV network.
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    Killers

    Killers

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    ITV (ended 1976)
    British dramatic series
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    Doctor at Sea

    Doctor at Sea

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    ITV
    Doctor at Sea is a 1955 British comedy and the second installment of the lighthearted Doctor in the House series of films. Dr. Simon Sparrow (Dirk Bogarde) decides to escape from women and the potential for matrimony by signing on as the ship's doctor for a cargo vessel named the SS Lotus. There he meets the gruff captain (James Robertson Justice) and the ship's motley crew who are cool to him as an inexperienced and seasick prone novice. Adding to the complications, two female passengers are unexpectedly taken on board, the daughter of the ship's owner and her friend, a beautiful young nightclub singer named Helene (Bridgette Bardot). Dr. Sparrow must find his sea legs and find a way to deal with unforeseen romance at the same time. Doctor at Sea followed quickly after the first in the series, Doctor of the House which was released in 1954. In all, the series spans seven films up to 1970 with Dirk Bogarde starring in the first three.moreless