'Coronation Street' creator Tony Warren dies at 79

LONDON -- British writer Tony Warren, who created the long-running soap opera "Coronation Street," has died at 79. The show he leaves behind is 56 years old, a national cultural fixture whose fans have included royalty, poets, rappers and millions of TV viewers.

See Full Article

Broadcaster ITV said Wednesday that Warren died Tuesday night, "surrounded by his loving friends," after a short illness.

Anthony McVay Simpson -- Warren was a stage name -- was a 24-year-old actor when he had the idea for a television series set in a working-class street in northwestern England, where he had grown up. He wrote the initial 13-episode run of what was originally called "Florizel Street" -- renamed before it was first broadcast in December 1960.

Some TV executives had their doubts about the program, calling the characters' northern speech "the language of the music halls." But its workaday setting, memorable characters, dramatic story lines and tart northern humour was a hit.

"Corrie" -- as it is popularly known -- set the model for British TV soaps, which to this day offer grit rather than the gloss of their American counterparts.

"Coronation Street" still has millions of regular viewers and a surprising range of fans around the world. Prince Charles once made a cameo appearance, and his wife Camilla pulled a pint in fictional pub The Rovers Return during a 2010 visit to the set. The late poet laureate John Betjeman compared "Corrie" to the novels of Charles Dickens, while Snoop Dogg recorded a message for its 50th anniversary.

For Warren, the show's success had a dark side. He said in a 2010 interview that the pressure of creating it left him addicted to alcohol and morphine for many years.

Warren wrote for the show for many years, and ITV said he remained a consultant on the series until the day he died.

Warren also wrote several novels, other TV shows and the 1960s film "Ferry Cross The Mersey," starring the Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers. But nothing else had the impact of "Coronation Street."

Actress Helen Worth, who has played the often-married, long-suffering Gail McIntyre in the soap since 1974, said Warren was "a genius of our time."

"He brought real life into our homes for us all to relate to and enjoy. He will, of course, live on forever through 'Coronation Street,"' she said.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Alicia Keys and Canada's indigenous movement share human rights award

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL - American recording artist Alicia Keys is sharing a top humanitarian award with indigenous rights activists in Canada. Keys and members of the indigenous rights movement are in Montreal to receive Amnesty International's "ambassador of conscience award. Source
  • Greg Allman's death prompts tributes from Cher, Keith Urban, Guns N' Roses

    Entertainment CBC News
    Cher, Keith Urban and Guns N' Roses are among the many musicians and entertainers paying tribute to Greg Allman following news of the Tennessee-born rocker's death at age 69. The Allman Brothers Band posted on its website Saturday that Allman, a founding member, "passed away peacefully at his home" in Savannah, Ga. Source
  • Gregg Allman's death prompts tributes from Cher, Keith Urban, Guns N' Roses

    Entertainment CBC News
    Cher, Keith Urban and Guns N' Roses are among the many musicians and entertainers paying tribute to Greg Allman following news of the Tennessee-born rocker's death at age 69. The Allman Brothers Band posted on its website Saturday that Allman, a founding member, "passed away peacefully at his home" in Savannah, Ga. Source
  • Some women-only screenings planned for ‘Wonder Woman’ [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Take a seat, “Thor.” Scattered plans among Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas to host women-only screenings of the upcoming “Wonder Woman” movie have produced both support and some grumbling about gender discrimination. Various locations have taken to social media in response, including the operators of the Brooklyn theatre promising on Twitter to funnel proceeds from women-only screenings in early June to Planned Parenthood. Source
  • Beyonce wears Michael Jackson inspired outfit at bash

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Beyonce has shared photos of a Michael Jackson-inspired outfit she wore to a recent party. The superstar took to Instagram on Friday to post a handful of flashback snaps, which revealed the ensemble she wore to Jessica Alba’s birthday bash in Los Angeles on April 28. Source
  • Elvis Presley's jet auctioned after sitting on runway 30 years

    Entertainment CBC News
    A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for more than 30 years. GWS Auctions Inc. says the plane sold for $430,000 US on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia. Source
  • Gregg Allman dead at 69 [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, his manager said. He was 69. Source
  • Southern rock legend Gregg Allman dies, age 69

    Entertainment CBC News
    Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday. He was 69. Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia, publicist Ken Weinstein said. Source
  • Southern rock legend Gregg Allman dies at 69

    Entertainment CBC News
    Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday. He was 69. Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia, publicist Ken Weinstein said. Source
  • Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A publicist for rock legend Gregg Allman says the organist and singer for The Allman Brothers Band has died. He was 69. Ken Weinstein confirmed Saturday that Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia. Source