Fans of Coronation Street will love the tour of the old studios which run until the end of the year.
I went along with two friends to take a peek at the street set and find out more about the soap’s history.
Guided tours take place throughout the day and start in what would have been the actors ‘green room with a brief history of the programme.
We learn that the soap was not originally called Coronation Street, but the name was changed after a cleaner said the original name sounded like a cleaning product.
We then get a glimpse of the costume department where you can instantly recognise which clothes belong to who, such as Roy’s Cropper’s cardigan and Cilla’s wedding dress.
The tour goes on to take us around the set, including Carla Connor’s old flat. The set would have been put up for six weeks at a time and then taken down and replaced with another for other scenes. This is to allow for the fact that all the scenes over a period of weeks will be filmed in bulk. The way we see Coronation Street on the tv is not the order it is filmed in.
We also get to see Gail’s house, which is tiny, Tyrone and Fizz’s house, which again is tiny, and best of all the Rovers Return.
The tour group is bundled into the pub set by tour guide Phil, with everyone sitting in the booths that we so often see on our screens. Again, everybody is surprised at how little space there is. It looks so much bigger on the TV, it’s hard to imagine the whole cast fitting in there for the many celebrations that take place at the Rovers.
Everyone is given the chance to have their photo taken behind the bar. These are then available to buy in the gift shop at the end of the tour. Something to really impress your friends with.
The tour also takes in the factory floor of Underworld where we learn that if you ever see a close-up of someone sewing in Underworld it will actually be the hands of a seamstress rather than the actor.
At the end of the tour the group leave the set via what turns out to be the entrance of Nick’s Bistro. You are then left to explore the cobbles of Coronation Street. This is definitely the highlight of the tour.
There’s the Kabin, Dev’s corner shop, Kevin Webster’s garage, Audrey’s hair salon, Roy’s Rolls and, of course the Rovers Return (exterior). What more could a Corrie fan want? You even get to go in Gail’s back garden, and see the builder’s yard where Tina met her death.
Though you aren’t permitted to take any picture on the part of the tour that is inside, you can snap away until you heart is content once you are outside. We had some great fun recreating a scene in the smoking shelter and doing our own videos.
The tours take place every day at the old studios in Manchester city centre.
Tickets must be booked online to guarantee your visit. You will be able to select an available day and time slot.
The tours will only run until the end of the year so don’t miss out.
More information can be found at coronationstreettour.co.uk