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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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    The Bill

    The Bill

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to The Bill guide at TV.com. The Bill recounts the goings-on within and around Sun Hill, a Metropolitan Police Station located in the fictional Borough of Canley, in east London. Running for over 25 years, The Bill was Britain's longest running police drama series, finally outstripping Dixon of Dock Green on 10 August 2005. It adapted to meet the challenges of the highly competitive world of independent television, evolving from a standard post-watershed police procedural drama, through a period as a twice- and, later, thrice-weekly early evening ratings grabber with stand-alone plots, then as a twice-weekly one-hour drama with ongoing soap-style exploration of the troubled personal lives of its police officers. The Bill reverted to a once a week, post-watershed drama on 23 July 2009, but ITV decided not to renew the show when the contract came up for renewal the following year. The Bill is not your average cop show, but rather an extraordinary police drama that brings each episode to the audience through the eyes of the characters. An excellent cast, supported by some of the country's leading writers and directors and some innovative camera work gives an incredible sense of realism. Other police dramas have been created in an attempt to mirror its conventions and match its success, but none has lasted. The Bill truly deserves its accolade as Britain's most successful police drama.moreless
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    Agatha Christie's Poirot

    Agatha Christie's Poirot

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    ITV (ended 2013)
    Welcome to the Poirot guide at TV.com. This is a British series which brings to life Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, played by David Suchet, whose sleuthing for the purposes of this series belongs in the mid-1930s. Based in London, with the very English Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) as his Dr Watson, Poirot's field of operations ranges around the world. The series has strong story lines, good production and acting, and a real period flavour. Poirot won two BAFTA awards in 1990, then had more BAFTA nominations as Best Drama Series in 1991 and 1992. All of Agatha Christie's seventy-two Poirot stories were produced with David Suchet as Poirot, and the show has been broadcast in more than one hundred countries around the world.moreless
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    Taggart

    Taggart

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to the Taggart guide at TV.com. In the early 1980s, Robert Love, Controller of Drama at Scottish Television, and Glenn Chandler, pathologist-turned-writer, created a Glaswegian police detective named Jim Taggart, a creation that resulted in a world-wide successful television drama that lasted for twenty-seven years. Over the course of 110 stories the series, which followed the exploits of Maryhill CID, continued to win over viewers old and new despite major changes in the cast which caused most in the business to write it off. From the pilot broadcast, "Killer", to the final episode, the show presented more grizzly murders and plot twists than even the most ardent of fans can remember. Its film noir quality, along with the stunning setting of Glasgow, the second city of the empire, helped it remain a success even after the death of the titular character. The excellent cast, both past and present, have provided characters that have become much loved and remain in the hearts of fans even after their departure. This guide is dedicated to the memories of Mark McManus, Iain Anders, Robert Robertson and Tom Watson. Taggart was made by Scottish Television (later Scottish Media Group) Productions and broadcast on the ITV network across the UK. In 2010, with ITV assessing their output due to financial issues, the show was at risk of being cancelled. The two broadcasters agreed a co-production arrangement for the next series, which was broadcast first on STV, and later aired in the rest of the UK on ITV1. However, despite the new format and the series' continuing popularity in Scotland, viewing figures across the rest of the UK were disappointing, and ITV announced in May 2011 that it had decided not to commission any further series.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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    Inspector Morse

    Inspector Morse

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    ITV (ended 2000)
    Welcome to the Inspector Morse guide at TV.com. Morse (played by the late John Thaw) is not the ideal policeman, his superiors think. He is prickly and sarcastic, a bachelor, an Oxford graduate, an intellectual snob, and he doesn't always follow protocol strictly as he should. But he gets results. Sergeant Lewis (Kevin Whately) is a plain family man, he follows orders, and the thing that keeps him from advancing in the Force is that he seems a little slow. The show takes place in and around Oxford, where many a mysterious murder occurs. Colin Dexter, the author of the Morse novels from which most of these dramas developed, appears in cameo roles in very nearly every episode. The books are: Last Bus to Woodstock (1975), Last Seen Wearing (1976), The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (1977), Service of All the Dead (1979), Winter's Crime (short stories) (1981), The Dead of Jericho (1981), The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983), The Secret of Annexe 3 (1986), The Wench Is Dead (1989), The Jewel That Was Ours (1991), The Way Through the Woods (1992), The Daughters of Cain (1994), Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (1995), Death Is Now My Neighbour (1996) and The Remorseful Day (2000). Barrington Pheloung's theme tune for the series is based on the Morse code for m-o-r-s-e. Less well known is the fact that he weaves other characters' names into the score in Morse code at suitable moments. Pheloung appears as a choirmaster in The Remorseful Day, the last episode of the series featuring John Thaw. The Inspector Morse concept waslater revived by ITV,with spin-off seriesLewis (starring Kevin Whately as Inspector Lewis) and prequel episode Endeavour featuring Shaun Evans as a young Endeavour Morse.moreless
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    We'll Meet Again

    We'll Meet Again

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    ITV (ended 1982)
    British period drama series. During World War II a group of U.S. Eight Air Force 525th Bomb Group air crew and pilots are stationed in the small Suffolk town of Market Wetherby much to the initial distrust of its older inhabitants and the delight of the younger female ones.moreless
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    Hammer House of Horror

    Hammer House of Horror

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    ITV (ended 1980)
    Welcome to the Hammer House of Horror guide at TV.com. This old British series is the television stage in the long and curious career of Hammer Films, which originated in the early years of the twentieth century. Each episode of the series stands alone and has its own cast. All live up to Hammer's high standards of psychological tension, in the best traditions of British horror. Look out for British stars of the later 1980s appearing in some of their earliest on-screen roles, including Simon MacCorkindale, Rosalyn Landor, Caroline Langrishe, and Pierce Brosnan.moreless
  • 9
    Robin of Sherwood

    Robin of Sherwood

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    ITV (ended 1986)
    Robin of Loxley is charged by Herne the Hunter, horned god of the forests, to become his son and champion. As "The Hooded Man," Robin must forge a band of outlaws and renegades into a force which will defy the Norman rulers who oppress the population of the region, especially Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    This adaptation of the Robin Hood legend leans heavily on mysticism and magic. This mood was reinforced by the soundtrack by the Irish band Clannad.moreless
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    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984)

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984)

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    ITV (ended 1994)
    Welcome to the Sherlock Holmes guide at TV.com. This listing takes in several series (all made by Granada, between 1984 and 1994) in which the late Jeremy Brett played the great detective :- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, together with a number of specials. Granada Television had set themselves the task of filming every one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. A number of the mysteries were still waiting to be filmed at Jeremy Brett's death in 1995, but Granada decided not to continue without him.moreless
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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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    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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    Lady Killers

    Lady Killers

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    ITV (ended 1981)
    Lady Killers started off as a Scottish series that focused on women accused of murder.

    The second series of the show changed the title to Ladykillers (all one word) and changed the focus to both genders accused of killing women.

    The show featured crimes from today and explored murders committed in the 1800's. The crime and the trial were often dramatized.moreless
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    The Jewel in the Crown

    The Jewel in the Crown

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    ITV (ended 1984)
    This award winning mini-series is an adaptation of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, and tells the epic story of men and women caught up in a struggle of race and class during the last five years of British rule in India.moreless
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    Brideshead Revisited

    Brideshead Revisited

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    ITV (ended 1981)
    Welcome to the Brideshead Revisited guide at TV.com. Based on a book by Evelyn Waugh, this series is a lament for an aristocratic England which at the end of the 1939-45 War seemed to be vanishing for ever. Charles Ryder, a wartime British Army captain, is posted to Brideshead Castle and remembers his doomed pre-war love affairs there - first with Lord Sebastian Flyte, later with his sister Julia. Filmed on locations which included Castle Howard, Yorkshire (as Brideshead Castle), Oxford, Venice, Malta, and the transatlantic liner Queen Elizabeth, the budget for the eleven episodes was compared to that for a string of feature films. The result was spectacular - in Mike Scott's words, "every frame a Rembrandt". The series is available on VHS and DVD and has a total length of 750 minutes. Awards: Brideshead Revisited took three BAFTA Awards in 1982 (Best Drama Series, Best Film Sound, and Best Actor - for Anthony Andrews) and had six other BAFTA nominations in the same year. In the USA, it received two Golden Globe Awards, and Jeremy Irons was nominated for a third for his portrayal of Charles Ryder.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
  • 17
    Love in a Cold Climate

    Love in a Cold Climate

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    ITV (ended 2001)
    Welcome to the Love in a Cold Climate guide at TV.com. There are two versions of this mini series. The first was first broadcast in the UK in 1980 and is Season 1 here at TV.com. The second version was broadcast in 2001 (season 2) The show serializes Nancy Mitford's books The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate - fictionalized accounts, from the 1920s to the war years of the 1940s, of the youth and love-life of a circle of English debs based on the famous Mitford sisters, Nancy, Jessica, Unity, Diana and Deborah. The central characters of the series are Linda, Louisa and Jassy Radlett, their parents Lord and Lady Alconleigh (otherwise Uncle Matt and Aunt Sadie, memorably played by Michael Aldridge and Judi Dench), the Radletts' cousin Fanny Logan (who lives with them because her mother, 'The Bolter', runs off with a variety of men) and their friend Lady Polly Hampton, daughter of a Viceroy of India. Because Polly (Rosalyn Landor) is an only child, her father's ancient titles and great estates will go to a distant Canadian cousin, Cedric Hampton (Michael Cochrane), believed to be some kind of lumberjack. However, the long-lost Cedric comes as a great surprise when he arrives. The show arrived on screens in the U.S. in 1982 and was also successfully exported to dozens of other countries.moreless
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    Stay Lucky

    Stay Lucky

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    ITV (ended 1993)
    Welcome to the Stay Lucky guide at TV.com. Yorkshire TV comedy drama series. Cockney drifter Thomas Gynn, after tangling with crooks ends up in Yorkshire where he teams up with narrowboat owning Sally Hardcastle in a series of adventures. John Lively runs a junkyard beside a canal in Yorkshire. He turns out to be a very sympathetic character in his interactions with a young runaway, Pippa, who he has taken in and sheltered.moreless
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    Boon

    Boon

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    ITV (ended 1995)
    Welcome to the Boon guide at TV Tome.
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    Capital City

    Capital City

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    ITV (ended 1990)
    Welcome to the Capital City guide at TV.com; British dramatic series
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