“I’m incredibly excited to watch their journey continue…even more so at the prospect of being somewhere a little warmer than Gwrych Castle.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me on my brief but completely unforgettable adventure – I’ve made some great friends and honestly had the time of my life. Speak soon, Richard x”
Richard was one of the top names to join this year’s I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here series.
He was starring alongside footballing legend David Ginola, The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, and producer Naughty Boy.
Featured Image – ITV
TV & Showbiz
Look around brand new Coronation Street set as ITV unveils Weatherfield Precinct
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
Rob Burrow to read CBeebies Bedtime Story for International Day of Disabled Persons
Former rugby player Rob Burrow MBE is next up to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story later this week to mark International Day of Disabled Persons.
The 40-year-old ex-Leeds Rhino turned MND campaigner will be reading a bedtime story on Saturday, 3 December, to celebrate the international day of observance.
Having already recorded his story, despite not being able to walk or talk anymore, Burrow used an eye-controlled computer to read the story, with a ground-breaking program able to recreate the words in his own native Yorkshire accent. Absolutely lovely.
Joined in the CBeebies studio by his wife Lindsey and two of their children, seven-year-old Maya and three-year-old Jackson, the pair helped to direct their dad from the gallery, shouting “action!” as the cameras started rolling. Heartwarming stuff, just watch:
Speaking to the BBC, Rob said he felt “excited and honoured” to be chosen for this British institution in UK television, especially as he used to enjoy reading to his own children.
He went on to insist that “reading and literacy are so important. It doesn’t matter what your disability is, reading is accessible to everyone. Anyone can enjoy reading and develop a love of books and bedtime stories, just like me and my family.”
The book chosen for his bedtime story is Tilda Tries Again by Tom Percival, which follows the story of a young girl who finds her world turned upside-down and has to find a new way to solve her problems, not unlike Rob’s own journey in recent years.