I read a lot of biographies of the stars of Coronation Street, hoping to get the behind the scenes gossip about the fights, who got on well and who fought with each other. This is the nearest I have got to that and it was an enjoyable read. Bill talks about his time in charge of Corrie and has strong opinions on the most talked about events, a few of which are below:
1)Peter Adamson (Len Fairclough)-his alcoholism was well known and Corrie stepped in to get him help, which was a great success. He was not sacked for the child abuse allegations which he was cleared of. He had been given warnings for selling stories to the media and was finally sacked for continuing to do so.
2)While the character of Fred Gee was a success, Fred Feast was unpopular with the cast for being rude, arrogant and his wind habits! After badmouthing the cast and management when he left, years later he asked when he was being invited back to Bill's horror!
3)Renee Bradshaw's character was stifling the potential of Alf Roberts when they married and she had to be killed. The hiring of an inexperienced young actress to play Susan Barlow and the relationship with Mike Baldwin was a mistake. Having Eddie Yeats marry was a mistake as it caused the actor to quit.
4)Pat Phoenix was a diva who broke all the rules and had a difficult relationship with Jean Alexander. Pat, Peter Adamson and Barbara Knox were all angry at the storyline of Len marrying Rita as each feared losing screen time. The actress who played Minnie Caldwell had foul mouthed rants when she wasn't happy.
Bill goes into detail about the pay dispute with Stephen Hancock which led to the murder of Ernie Bishop and almost saw the character of Emily axed. He does not paint Stephen as the troublemaker that he was alleged to be in the media so it was nice to see the full story. He talks about how many times Ken Barlow was saved from the axe up to the early 80's. There are other interesting disputes and sackings that are discussed but I don't want to tell you everything and spoil it!
This is a good book for Corrie fans who want a real look behind the scenes.