Sunday, April 02, 2006
Introducing Corrie Fan Joan McClement
In this exclusive Corrie Canuck interview, we meet Coronation Street fan extraordinaire, Joan McClement.
Be sure to visit Joan’s Coronation Street Tour Page!
CC: When did you start watching Coronation Street?
JOAN: I started watching when it when it first came to Canada. It was the early 1960's and the show was still in black and white. I worked and so sometimes I missed episodes but with the help of videos and Daran Little, I think I have filled in most of the blanks.
CC: Excuse me, Joan. Did you say DARAN LITTLE?! (MJ’s favourite Corrie writer.)
JOAN: Daran and I first met in 1992 when I went on my first tour. We became close friends and still are today. He even put a reference to me in one of his episodes. My nickname on the Internet is Posey and I have been known as that. Just prior to the episodes when Sarah makes the mistake of going to meet someone she met online, they had an episode when the boys are showing Sarah how the chat lines work. One of the boys says sommat like, “Oh look Posey is in chat.” The other one replied. “Oh that is Posey from Canada -she is always on the line.” I must have had a dozen emails telling me about it before I even saw it. Daran and I laughed about it -he never told me ahead of time.
Joan McClement and Daran Little
CC: Who’s your favourite character?
JOAN: I think Norris is my favourite character at the moment. I love him with Blanche and Rita. Funny funny funny.
CC: You started a Coronation Street fan club?
JOAN: I started the fan club called the Barmcakes back in about 1993. I had gone on my first World of Coronation Street tour in 1992 and had made some great friends. We decided we would like to keep in touch and so I invited about 11 people to my apartment as thus started the Barmcakes. Just recently we asked Deb Cyr to become President and she accepted.
Also I became sort of the center for all groups wanting to start a group and worked with Daran on guidelines for fan clubs. Mostly to have fun but not to use star faces or Street images to make money. We had quite a few groups across Canada. This has diminished since and I think it is because more people are enjoying pings.
Trip to Blackpool
CC: You’re the tour escort for the “World of Coronation Street Tour.” Tell us about the tour.
JOAN: We stay in Manchester near Granada studios. We always make Blackpool part of our trip as it is so typical of middle class holiday trips. It’s loud, brassy and lots of fun.
We also visit some of the venues that we’ve previously seen on the show. One favourite was the church where so many things happened. It was the scene of mad granny Brenda holding Bethany in the tower; Steve and Karen's disastrous wedding; and the burial of Sarah and Todd's little baby. As we walked up toward the church, the bells were playing and the pastor asked the organist to play for us. We all stood with our hymn books, singing. He also told us about the events that had happened and described how some of them were staged.
Of course the studio trip is always a favourite. We’ve been privileged to watch some rehearsals in The Rovers and on the Street. Last year we went into the Knicker factory for the first time and it’s very realistic. David Nugent told us that they try to make it as authentic as possible so that when the actors come it is really like coming into a proper factory.
We always have an afternoon tea at the Victoria and Albert across the road from the studio and a guest drops in. Also we have an expert's evening - where if we’re lucky, we get some spoilers.
On the last evening we have our gala dinner with one of our favourite stars. Last year it was Antony Cotton (our Sean Tully.) The year before, Sue Nicholls (our Audrey Roberts) and Mark Eden (Corrie’s former villain Allan Bradley.) They are the nicest couple and we had a lot of fun with them.
And there’s much more! Join us and find out!
Joan and David Neilson (our Roy Cropper)
CC: How did you become the tour escort?
JOAN: The tour was first envisioned by Katherine and Michael Reynolds along with Kemptville Travel. Years ago I took over as escort when Katherine and Michael moved to England. I assist with the booking of the stars for our special events. Daran and I always worked closely on this. He always was our expert at dinner and took us on the tour of the studio. He was a wealth of information to everyone and we miss him.
In the Kabin: Sally, Daran, Joan, Hayley
CC: What are some of the highlights of your tours?
JOAN: I think one of the best memories was the day that Daran was showing us through the studio and Betty and Blanche came out to see us. Many of the other stars also came out but these two darlings were just fantastic.
Blanche and Joan
I always enjoy seeing William Roache (our Ken Barlow) - he is just the best representative for the show. He always seems to come out to see us at the studio visit and we have had him as a guest at our gala dinner. He is a wonderful conversationalist.
Daran Little and William Roache (our Ken Barlow) in the studio
Daran arranged to take us out on the "Street" at night. We were having our dinner at The Rovers with Daran and it was raining. He was worried we might have to cancel but luckily it stopped raining and we went out onto the Street. Daran had arranged for all the lights to be on in the homes and Rovers. It looked fantastic and Daran gave us a house-by-house run down on who lived there. He amazed me as I couldn't even remember the year I moved into my own house. This was his idea and the first time anyone had seen the Street at night.
There are so many memorable moments that I could go on forever.
The Street at night
CC: When’s the next tour?
JOAN: September 14, 2006. It’s a 10-day trip and we’ll stay at the Jurys Inn in Manchester.
For more information, please call me at (905) 275-4693 or email me at email@example.com
CC: Is there anything else you’d like to mention before we wrap up?
JOAN: Daran Little has always been my big support on and off the tour, but since he left the studio, Helen Nugent has been wonderful. It is difficult when I am trying to contact the stars for dinners etc. and she has been so helpful and I am so grateful to her.
I would also say that I have left out so many of the other stars who have been fantastic. There hasn't been one star that I have met that I haven't come away thinking that they are the best ever.
CC: Thank you, Joan!
Daran and Joan
Posted by The Mistress at 10:35 AM