Tuesday 19 March 2019

Coronation Street: Some of the big names who have graced the cobbles

Sir Ian McKellen, Peter Kay and Honor Blackman are among the stars who have appeared on the street.

The Rovers Return (ITV)
The Rovers Return (ITV)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Maureen Lipman is not the first big-name star to join Coronation Street.

Sir Ian McKellen appeared in the soap more than 10 years ago, saying the role would fulfil his one remaining ambition, as flamboyant novelist Mel Hutchwright.

The Lord Of The Rings actor played the author of a steamy bodice ripper, Hard Grinding, for 10 episodes in 2005.

Sir Ian McKellen played novelist Mel Hutchwright (Lauren Hurley/PA)

Sir Norman Wisdom, at the age of 89, signed up for a cameo as sprightly pensioner Ernie Crabbe.

His alter ego turned out to be a fitness fanatic despite his advancing years.

Another funnyman, Phoenix Nights star Peter Kay, appeared in the show as luckless drayman Eric Gartside in 2004.

Comic Peter Kay taking Rovers landlady Shelley, played by Sally Lindsay, on a date from hell (Granada TV/PA)

He also played a shopfitter who was involved in refurbishing the Corner Shop when its opening was sabotaged in 1997.

Kay said he had “always been a huge fan” and had “been brought up with it all my life”.

Comic Vic Reeves, an avid Corrie viewer, filmed a three-month stint as TV presenter Colin last summer.

Vic Reeves was on the street for three months (Ian West/PA)

Reeves, real name Jim Moir, said: “I’ve been a lifelong fan of Corrie. In fact, I think I saw the very first one.”

Former Avenger and Bond girl Honor Blackman played Rula Romanoff, a flirty pensioner who caught the eye of Norris Cole, for five episodes in 2004.

Honor Blackman on the cobbles (PA)

Lipman, who will play “outspoken battleaxe” Evelyn Plummer,  previously made a brief appearance in the ITV soap in 2002 as snooty landlady Lillian Spencer.

Cameos have included Sir Cliff Richard cropping up in the Rovers in 1997.

The Prince of Wales was seen in a 40th anniversary episode, being shown around town by Mayoress Audrey Roberts.

Phantom Of The Opera star Michael Crawford and former footballer Peter Schmeichel have also been glimpsed in the soap.

Actor Sir Laurence Olivier is said to have asked for a role but could not film the part penned for him after becoming unwell.

The Prince of Wales enjoys a scotch with Coronation Street’s barmaid Natalie Barnes, played by Denise Welch (Phil Noble/PA)

Sir Ben Kingsley, Joanna Lumley, Sir Patrick Stewart, Mel B and Prunella Scales all had minor roles in the street before making their names.

And Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins once hinted he would be happy to join, saying: “It’s an institution, please may I have a part in it?”

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