Coronation Street is Britain's longest-running television soap opera, and was originally broadcast live. It was first broadcast on ITV on Friday 9 December 1960. The soap is set in a fictional street in the fictional industrial town of Weatherfield which is based on Salford, now part of Greater Manchester. Coronation Street is known on occasions for its lighter storylines although it has tackled some controversial topics and storylines.
The architecture of the Street was based on Archie Street, Salford, which appeared in the programme's original opening credits. The Street is made up of individual housing units, and communal focus areas such as The Kabin and the public house 'The Rovers Return'. The Street itself was originally a set built inside a studio, with the houses reduced in scale.
In 1968, Granada decided to build an outside set, and by 1982 a modern, full-size exterior street was built. Because it was meant to be permanent the houses were constructed from reclaimed Salford brick rather than wood and scaffolding. However, the houses had no interior walls - the chimneys had to be made of fibreglass, since there would otherwise be insufficient support.
Even now, several Granada towerblocks dominate the skyline over the street, and are usually obscured/hidden through careful camera angles. The majority of interior scenes are still shot in the adjoining purpose-built studio.
Coronation Street often enjoys higher viewing figures compared to its main rival (the BBC's Eastenders) however they are often very close and both ITV1 and the BBC try to avoid scheduling conflicts by ensuring whenever possible the two soaps are not broadcast at the same time.
Coronation Street is also popular in Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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