Image for The Road to Coronation StreetNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes

6.53pm, December 9th 1960, Granada Studios, Manchester. With minutes to go until the live transmission of episode one, creator Tony Warren is being sick in the toilets, actress Pat Phoenix is missing and so is the cat from the opening shot.

This is the epic story of one man's struggle to make a programme that no-one wanted. Granada's formidable bosses Sidney Bernstein and his brother Cecil are not enthusiastic, but together with producer Harry Elton and director Derek Bennett, Tony takes up the battle. He wants cobbles, a pub, seven houses and a shop, but above all he wants Northern actors. Led by casting director Margaret Morris and her young assistant Josie Scott, the hunt begins for the legendary cast - Doris Speed, Pat Phoenix, Violet Carson and William Roache. With a last-minute change of title, Coronation Street is born.

Last on

Mon 6 Aug 2012 03:15 BBC Four

  • Photo: Crew

    Photo: Crew

    The people who brought Coronation Street to television screens, from left to right: Harry Kershaw (John Thompson), Harry Elton (Christian McKay), Margaret Morris (Jane Horrocks), Derek Bennett (Shaun Dooley), Tony Warren (David Dawson) and Jose Scott (Sophia Di Martino).

  • Photo: Violet Carson and Doris Speed

    Photo: Violet Carson and Doris Speed

    Original cast members Violet Carson (Lynda Baron), who played Ena Sharples, and Doris Speed (Celia Imrie), who portrayed Rovers Return landlady Annie Walker.

  • Photo: Tony Warren

    Photo: Tony Warren

    Coronation Street's creator Tony Warren, played by David Dawson.

  • Planet North

    Planet North

    This programme is part of Planet North, BBC Four's season of films celebrating the culture, history, life and architecture of northern England.

    Go to the Planet North site
  • BBC TV blog

    BBC TV blog

    James Roache explains what it was like playing his own dad in The Road To Coronation Street.

    Read James Roache's post at the TV blog

Credits

Tony Warren
David Dawson
Tony Warren
David Dawson
Harry Elton
Christian McKay
Harry Elton
Christian McKay
Josie Scott
Sophia Di Martino
Margaret Morris
Jane Horrocks
Derek Bennett
Shaun Dooley
Derek Bennett
Shaun Dooley
Pat Phoenix
Jessie Wallace
Pat Phoenix
Jessie Wallace
Violet Carson
Lynda Baron
Violet Carson
Lynda Baron
Sidney Bernstein
Steven Berkoff
Sidney Bernstein
Steven Berkoff
Cecil Bernstein
Henry Goodman
Cecil Bernstein
Henry Goodman
Doris Speed
Celia Imrie
Doris Speed
Celia Imrie
Harry Kershaw
John Thomson
Harry Kershaw
John Thomson
Mrs Simpson
Phoebe Nicholls
Walter
Malcolm Raeburn
Walter
Malcolm Raeburn
Producer
Rebecca Hodgson
Writer
Daran Little

Broadcasts

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