Tuesday, 16 November 2010

In the beginning . . .

The 'alternative universe' Martha, Minnie & Ena
This is perhaps my favourite picture from the pre-history of "Corrie"! It shows what might have been had the casting of some characters taken a different turn. The scene is taken from the dry run (or pilot episode) of episode three and shows Nan Marriott-Watson in the role of Ena Sharples. Sitcom fans will relish seeing the legendary Doris Hare as Martha Longhurst. In Daran Little's book, "The Coronation Street Story", Hare recalls being approached by Tony Warren to play Martha but casting supremo Margaret Morris decided that Doris was wasted in the role. Morris offered her the Ena Sharples role instead but Doris was busy with RSC committments.

Larry Dann - the alternative Dennis Tanner!
Alison Bayley played Minnie Caldwell in the dry run prior to Margot Bryant being cast. Neither Minnie nor Martha appeared in the other dry run. However, there were other casting anomalies. Ruth Holden, eventually Ena's put upon daughter Vera Lomax, was padded up for the role of Ida Barlow. Larry Dann was Dennis Tanner and, as we know from the wonderful "The Road to Coronation Street", Nita Valerie was Ena. Also amongst the cast was Peter 'Len Fairclough' Adamson as insurance man Harry Bailey. This particular character surfaced some years later, played by Ray Mort. Nora Gordon took the role of Elsie Lappin and Victor Tandy acted the part of Albert Tatlock. How different it all might have been!


  1. Oh look it's Harry Potter! Very interesting stuff!

  2. Harry Potter: The Black & White Years . . .

  3. Having seen Larry Dann's performance in an episode of Pardon the Expression, I'm rather glad that Philip Lowrie got the part after all!

  4. I think he was in some of the later (and therefore fairly rubbish) "Carry On" films too - plus several years in "The Bill".