At 24 you don't really think about next year, let alone 50 of them
Nearly sixty years ago, Tony Warren, then a young actor in his 20s, fell asleep on a train. When he awoke, he had a marvellous idea.
He immediately told his friend about it: “Olive, I've got this wonderful idea for a television series. I can see a little back street in Salford, with a pub at one end and a shop at the other, and all the lives of the people there…”
Olive was a TV producer. But she wasn’t impressed. Indeed, the idea probably doesn’t sound all that impressive to us. Olive thought it sounded boring.
But in 1960, such a show was actually a very novel idea. There was virtually nothing like it on our TV screens.
Tony’s series eventually made it to ITV. The results are still with us today. His initial choice of name, Florizel Street, was wisely rejected (nobody could spell or pronounce it). Instead, the new series was called Coronation Street.
Not everyone liked it. One critic predicted it would only last three weeks. He was wrong. The new series soon proved enormously popular. Tony himself wrote for the series until the late Seventies and remained a consultant on the series, after that.
Today Coronation Street is the longest continuously running soap opera in the world. Tony Warren changed TV forever.