The Coronation Street set has had a massive expansion, with a new Weatherfield Precinct unveiled today.
The location has often been name-checked in the popular soap, but for the first time, cast members will be able to film scenes there.
The set won’t hit our screens until 13 January – but The Manc headed down for a little sneak peek.
The two-storey Weatherfield Precinct set is built around a children’s play park, with a row of shops carefully constructed by the Coronation Street set designers.
There’s everything from a charity shop to a Chinese takeaway to a dessert bar.
Above the shops sits a row of maisonettes with a balcony running in front.
There’s incredible attention to detail throughout, from the litter on the floor (which includes a packet of a fictitious crisp brand) to the fake sausage rolls in the bakery windows to the washing lines nailed to the walls.
Everything has been deliberately weathered and aged, so it looks like it’s been there for decades rather than carefully built in 2022.
The new Weatherfield Precinct set was unveiled today by members of the cast including Jack P Shepherd, Sally Dynevor, Antony Cotton, Jimmi Harkishin, Daniel Brocklebank, Channique Sterling-Brown, Elle Mulvaney, Tanisha Gorey, James Craven and Colson Smith.
It’s been added as an extension to the existing iconic set, which spans 7.7 acres near MediaCityUK.
Producer Iain MacLeod said: “Hats off to our design and construction teams who have conjured a totally convincing new precinct for our drama! They took their inspiration from Salford’s many real-world, late 20th century shopping areas and what they have created is a brilliant, characterful space to tell a diverse range of stories.
“Expect to see teens hanging out at the dessert shop, families enjoying the play area and, after dark, a rogues’ gallery, up to shady business in the ginnels. I am really excited by the arrival on screen of this much discussed but never seen corner of the Weatherfield universe.”
Head of design Rosie Mullins explained the process: “Back in 2013 Coronation Street moved into its new home at Media City. With this move came exciting potential to continue to develop and expand our Weatherfield Community onsite.
“The first expansion came in the form of Victoria Street and Weatherfield Police Station builds back in 2018.
“In February 2021 I set about the first pencil drawings for a very exciting new exterior build – Weatherfield Precinct. We have often heard about this precinct and although we have filmed over the years at a range of shopping locations, we had never established our own Weatherfield Precinct.
“It had always intrigued me – what would it look like and who would we find there? The opportunity to bring to life a colourful and grittier area of Weatherfield was so exciting!
“Weatherfield Precinct was inspired by the 1960s shopping precincts that we see across many areas of the UK. In designing this the team gathered hundreds of images with a particular focus given to those in our local Manchester and Salford area. I wanted there to be aspects of the Precinct that people from all walks of life identify with and recognise. I wanted it to reflect how communities develop but aspects of them can also feel like stepping back in time.
“In this Precinct we find an array of businesses, a playground, residential flats, a small ginnel, Weatherfield community hub and a very colourful community recycling centre.
“Working with Iain on what the writing team needs from the Precinct has meant that we have managed to pack so much into this new set! I cannot wait to see the arrival onscreen of Sweety Nuff dessert & milkshake shop, Gregory Pope Foundation Charity Shop, Rutlands bakery, Pound Outlet and Bargainanza Pawnbrokers.
“The most incredible part of this has been watching this build rise from a small car park with a mass of ugly steel, concrete and timber to the beautifully constructed, characterful 1960s 2 storey precinct that we see today.
“This build has been one of the most enjoyable builds that we have undertaken and showcases the many behind the scenes talents that the programme has to offer. I am incredibly proud of the detail, the quality of the build and for what it offers for future storytelling for the show. I am also so very proud of how it was brought to life by our in-house talented Design Team.”
Featured image: The Manc Grop
TV & Showbiz
Peter Kay wants to do a Phoenix Nights film and has already written multiple Max and Paddy Christmas specials
Comedy legend Peter Kay has revealed that he wants to revive Phoenix Nights in the form of a feature film and has been writing down ideas for years.
Writing in his upcoming memoir, TV: Big Adventures on the Small Screen — which releases on Thursday, 28 September this week — Kay has confirmed that he’s been workshopping possible ways to do it ever since the hit show ended in 2003.
As per multiple outlets who got their hands on extracts from the follow-up to his best-selling autobiography from 2007, The Sound of Laughter, the Bolton-born comic, actor and writer says: “I still write down ideas.
“I had an idea only today of Brian getting Young Kenny [played by fellow Manc funnyman, Justin Moorhouse] to paint an enormous letter ‘H’ on the roof of the club so he can advertise they’ve got a helicopter pad. The chance of a helicopter ever landing is, of course, zero.” Kay also returned stand-up at the AO Arena this weekend.
The 50-year-old goes on to write that, “As the years pass, I’m becoming more like Brian, but if Phoenix Nights rose again it’d have to be for something very special, maybe a film? Perhaps Brian could get visited by three ghosts. Now, wouldn’t that be an idea?”
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Kay has floated the possibility of a feature-length Phoenix Nights comeback, having told producers that a script was ‘ready to go’ back in 2011 around the same time and success of The Inbetweeners Movie.
In fact, a few years later in 2017, he told BBC Radio Manchester that he’d “love to go back” to the series and said, “There’s a whole series three been written for about 15 years” but insisted that other projects and real-life simply gets in the way. As for whether this was turned into a film script, who knows?
Furthermore, the sell-out standup (whose return to the stage broke records and the internet late last year) shed even further light on the show’s spin-off, Max & Paddy’s Road to Nowhere and its potential return for a Christmas special or two. In fact, co-star Paddy McGuinness talked it up earlier this year too.
He detailed how a script he’d written revolved around the two bouncers as “overly aggressive” elves working in Santa’s grotto.
Like his lifelong friend Peter, McGuinness insisted he’s always been keen to bring the equally popular comedy duo back and has said in the past that there’s “always talk about doing another one”, but that the issue is simply “time” and “getting everyone together”.
We’re keeping everything crossed that the time is just around the corner.
You can now watch Barbie in IMAX for one week only at Manchester Printworks
If you’ve somehow not had the chance to watch Barbie yet, then how does seeing the movie of the summer in IMAX sound?
You may have heard by now that Manchester’s Vue cinema at the Printworks is one of just 30 movie theatres around the world that’s been showing a special 70mm IMAX version of Christopher Nolan’s monumental biographical film Oppenheimer, and that’s about a big of a deal as it gets when it comes to cinematic events, to be fair.
But now, it’s Barbie’s turn for showing on the biggest screen of them all.
There’s absolutely no denying the genuine cultural phenomenon that was the ‘Barbenheimer’ opening weekend showdown back in July, but if it was the nuclear weapon epic you opted for the first time round, and you’ve still not yet found an opportunity to catch Greta Gerwig’s masterpiece, then now’s your chance.
As of today (22 September), Manchester’s largest city centre cinema inside Printworks is screening the Barbie movie in limited-edition IMAX for just one week only.
That’s not all either, as on top of enjoying Barbie in all its ultra-high-definition glory, and seeing Margot Robbie steal the show as she stars in the titular role, alongside Ryan Gosling as Ken, and a massive ensemble cast of some of Hollywood’s biggest names, fans will also be treated to some bonus post-credit footage during their screening too
All the bonus footage has been selected by director Greta Gerwig herself, so that only adds to this rare occasion worth making the most of.
Ian Harris, who is the General Manager at Vue Manchester Printworks, called the release of Barbie a “true cultural moment” that film fans will remember for a long time, and says this one-week special IMAX screening a way to honour that.
“There’s no denying the cultural significance of Greta Gerwig’s film, and we’re thrilled to be offering the chance to watch it in full IMAX,” Mr Harris said.
“The Barbie IMAX experience at Vue Manchester Printworks offers our customers the chance to enter the world of Barbie in a completely unrivalled way, using ear-tingling audio, super-sized screens, and breath-taking imagery.”