Lost Media Archive
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Coronation Street or Corrie has lasted over 60 years and surprisingly has survived with most of its Archive spared the wiping of the early time of Television. Such a successful series there has been many spin-offs made about it from presenting old episodes in made for Video specials to stand alone VHS Movies.

However these are the better known examples, Granada have been making Spin-Offs of Corrie nearly from the start of the run, possibly having the first ever examples of such in UK Television.

On this page are the early spin-offs and many of which have yet to be seen.

Pardon the Expression

In 1965, the character Leonard Swindley (played by Arthur Lowe) ended his time on Corrie, however 2 days later an new show aired on Granada it was called Pardon the Expression, named after Swindley regular catchphrase on the street and it might be one of the first spin offs in the UK. The series had been to Lowe upon his decision to quit Corrie, the new series has a laughter track from a live studio audience.

Premise

It presented Swindley now as the Deputy Manager at Dobson and Hanks but after making such a good impression with the staff they helped him out of the problems he would unknowingly cause, to protect him from the upper hands from firing him. Included in the team is canteen lady Mrs Edgeley, and Miss Sinclair, the boss's secretary. His boss in the series was Ernest Parbold, played by Paul Dawkins, who was replaced by Wally Hunt, played by Robert Dorning, in series 2 (Dawkins fell ill before Series 2 started).

Behind the Scenes

The series had not only the writers and directors from Corrie it starred future Corrie stars like Julie Goodyear and Betty Driver as well. It ran for two series and did well with Arthur Lowe presenting his comedy skills. Famously Betty Driver (who played Mrs Edgeley) and Lowe did some unarmed combat with Driver grabbing Lowe and injuring her back which resulted in her leaving acting and owning a pub however a few years later Granada asked her back to play Betty Trupin in Corrie. Also in the cast was John Le Mesurier, who later reunited with Arthur Lowe in the classic comedy Dad's Army.

Status

Both of the 2 Dry Runs (Pilots) are lost but all 37 episodes exist including a Christmas Special which never had been transmitted (Its release date has never been proven it might have been a December One Off for 1965 or the opener for Series 2 for January 1966) and they have been released on DVD.

Turn Out the Light

A Spin off of a Spin Off, it had Arthur Lowe as Leonard Swindley once again.

Premise

Swindley and his former supisor Wally Hunt fired from Dobson and Hank, but they work together Leonard as a professional speaker and Wally as his assistant but they both work to solve Supernatural events.

Background

It was 6 episodes long and were 55 minutes long, meaning that the whole series was as long as the first series of Pardon the Expression. The show just like the former series had writers from Corrie working on it and several former and future cast members including Noel Dyson, William Moore and Ben Kingsley. Despite being a Comedy it wasn't taped in front of a audience unlike it former series

Reception

It was a terrible failure panned by reviewers and even the writers felt it was the worst thing they had ever written.

Status

The whole 6 episodes are lost.

Rest Assured

This spin off like the ones above would also focus on established characters this time Ray Langton and Jerry Booth, two builders that would now in the sitcom (if it was one as while comical it has no laughter and might be classed as a Dramey today) be working as insurance salesman and premium collectors.

The Pilot (as they were now called) was titled Lift Off, despite there being a Airing Date on IMDB for the 20th of November 1972 it doesn’t appear in the TV Times on that date or anytime in the week which suggest that the date might have been mistaken as either the date of recording or the possible air date.

Plot

Jerry and Ray are working in the high rise Noville House where Ray has fallen for the young and sexy Mrs Johnson who doesn’t feel the same unless Ray finds them a place they won’t be seen by her gossiping neighbours. However Ray discovers that the lift can stop working for a hour if a certain sequence of buttons is pressed, however when he tries it he ends up stuck in the lift with one of Jerry’s customers a worrisome yet sweet old lady, however just as he is finally released he sees that Mrs Johnson then gets “stuck” in the other lift with Jerry.

Status

The Master Tape is preserved in the archives but has not been released.

It was screened at TV Utopia in 2018.

The Brother’s McGregor

While the Spin-Offs above were based on established characters this series was characters that were only one-off characters.

Behind the Scenes

The characters were Cyril and Wesley McGregor, they appeared in Episode 2203, the Liverpudlian brothers came to the Stag Do of old friend Eddie Yeats, the brothers were noticeable because Cyril was White and Wesley was Mixed-Race explaining to those present that they shared a mother, they make the party become more riotous to the point that poor Annie Walker called the police who arrived just as they bring the Piano outside.

The writers Julian Rough and John Steveson loved writing the character’s misbehaviour then created a series to make a sitcom based on the pair however the original actors wouldn’t respire their roles and so instead the parts were played by Philip Whitechurch and Paul Barber who would go onto later successes. Also what was noticeable was that no way in the advertising was anything the character’s Corrie debut this was probably done to make sure the audience wouldn’t watch the series with a bias of the origins.

Concept

The brothers work at dodgy second hand car dealers, they spend their days dreaming of the big time with Cyril wanting to be a singing superstar and Wesley as a business tycoon, however Cyril can’t hold a note and Welsey’s scams fail badly. Included in this madcap adventure is Cyril’s punk girlfriend and the brother’s mother Dolly who is living in a fantasy world going off on monologues of her deluded mind.

Release

The first series began on the 4th of September 1985 with little critical reception but the audience was there with the first episode in 6th place in the viewing that week, the next episode had a slight drop but overall series one had 13 million people watching it and the first six episodes were even novelised much like what Corrie has received. Series Two however had half of it’s viewership and Granada kept going with it however around this time the show was being moved around the schedule with some regions not even showing it at all, then ITV moved it’s third season in one of the graveyard slots where it failed to compete with Eastenders and the final series (which it was yet to be known as a fifth series was planned) on 10:35pm which was a terrible mistake resulted in it’s cancelation.

Status

The series never had a video release but some clips do appear online.

Update

The Brothers McGregor is being aired on Forces TV which can be seen on Freesat: 165, Freeview: 96, Sky (UK only): 181 and Virgin Media: 274.

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