From today, Kevin Kennedy, who played the endearing Curly Watts in Coronation Street for twenty years, is making a series of special appearances throughout July, exclusively at Coronation Street the Tour.
Kevin will be available on tours for pictures between 4pm and 6pm on Thursday 3rd, 10th and 17th July and between 7 and 9pm on Thursday 24th July and visitors will have the chance to meet the iconic former Corrie star on the old cobbles of Granda Studios, Quay Street.
Tickets for the attraction have been in great demand since opening on April 5th with over 100,000 visitors already flocking to the old filming site. (Read our review here!)
Consequently, additional capacity has now been released to accommodate the series of special appearances from the former TV star.
Kevin Kennedy said: “Coronation Street was, and still is, a huge part of my life and I have so many fond memories of my time on the old Granada set. It’s great that the site is now open for visitors to see behind the scenes of where I spent so many happy years and I can’t wait to see their reactions when they step on to the cobbles for the very first time!”
We also had chance to catch up with Kevin for a quick chat!
How did it feel being back on the cobbles?
The whole experience makes you bit a home sick not just for Weatherfield but for Manchester full stop, cause I live in Brighton now. Every time I come it reminds me of so many great times; being on the cobbles was such a joy.
Whats it going to be like telling visitors about the Street?
Its a brilliant idea and that little bit extra. Everyone now has the opportunity to walk the cobbles and now to meet some from the cast I think is added extra. I will be telling them stories about filming here and stories from each house I lived in. I also get to tell stories that they wont have heard before…what it was like to film in the Rovers, in Emily’s, in the flat above the shop…all them stories that if you hear from the actor make it more interesting I think.
What do you make of the reaction you had out there today?
Its very gratifying to know the fans remember me and what we did here and the story lines. Its joyful and a very nice experience coming here see fans. Its also very humbling that they still remember your work 10yrs later!
Do you still watch Coronation Street and what do you think of it now?
I have just started catching up again up after a long stint in the West End. It’s good, it never drops its standard. It’s always beautifully written and well performed. Thats what makes it stand out from other soaps. I think it’s still as gripping as it ever was with new charters and new story lines that reflect the times we live in. The standards of writing and performance is as good as its always been. I think the secret of the streets success is a mixture of humour and drama and being able to keep up with times; yeah it’s bit raunchy in places but its always done in a Corrie way…not thrust down your throat or for ratings but cause its a good story.
Can we expect to see Curly back on our screens in the future?
It’s no secret that I want to do some more but as far as I know there’s no plans. I have a great relationship with Coronation Street and I always have for 10yrs and if the opportunity arrives then I’d be very happy about it.
The tour is only here until October, do you think it should be made a permanent fixture?
If it was my decision I think they should keep it. It’s a part of Manchester heritage. It’s as important as Old Trafford or the Etihad or Albert Square or the canals. So it should be here all year round! This building was a forerunner in the HBO of its time and we were making incredible programs ahead of the times and it all happened in Manchester and it’s a great legacy to leave.
Do you have a most memorable scene from your time on the Street?
I was very lucky as an actor I got to do many different story lines…comedy with Reg, gentle drama with Emily. The Reg wig story about him being folically challenged and Curly helped him choose a wig then went to the Rovers and the hi jinx that followed from that. My other particular favourite was Jack and Curly drunk on Christmas Eve and Dereck had been locked in the toy factory and Curly saw him on the roof and was convinced they had seen Father Christmas! The entire Raquel storyline was also a joy to perform!
What are your plans for the future?
At the moment I’m just having a bit of rest! I only finished the show (We Will Rock You) three weeks ago. Just coming up here for this month and enjoying that. I always get a buzz out of meeting the fans and being in Manchester plus it gives me the chance to catch up with old pals and family, and enjoy the city!
We also caught up with one of the tours in the Rovers, which allowed visitors to ask Kevin their own questions!
Did the cast all get on?
Its so hard work, we have no time for primadonna’s and shenanigans. We haven’t got time for it and its so hot in here! We had to work as a team, especially in this building; we were always running from set to set and I still remain good friends with most of the cast.
How long did you get to learn a script?
We finish one week of filming and on the Thursday we get the script for the next week. By the time I finished Friday here, I would have Saturday to learn the next stuff. It was a constant learning process. Some weeks you were very light, you might only have 2-3 lines, some weeks you might have 30-40 scenes! They did try to even it out a bit but if you had a big storyline that was your life for 3months!
How much time did you have for shooting scenes?
Usually you would get through as much as you could before 7.30pm when they pulled the plug. It was all structured and if you didn’t get through them you knew the next day you’d have to work faster.
Have you seen the new set yet?
I was due to go tomorrow with Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow) but somethings come up so I will probably go next week.
When were you last in the Rovers?
Ten and half years ago! It’s a great place and a great set and I always feel very at home here. We’ve had many parties and send offs in here, I’ve seen fights in here and I think I’ve even had a fight in here! Many schemes and plots have been hatched in these four walls!
So if you want the chance to meet the Corrie legend, make sure you book on to tours between 4pm and 6pm on Thursday 10th or 17th July and between 7 and 9pm on Thursday 24th July!
Tickets, which remain at the same price, are available at ticketmaster.co.uk/coronationstreet
By Emily Parker