Hello and welcome to today’s edition of A Slice Of Soap.
If Coronation Street isn’t the ‘luvvies’ soap, I don’t know what is. Not so long ago, Lord Of The Rings’ Sir Ian McKellen, Gandalf himself, appeared as Mel Hutchwright and now Sir Ben Kingsley has talked about his pride at appearing in Coronation Street as a young actor. The Gandhi star joined the cast in 1966 as Ron Jenkins, who was involved with Ken Barlow’s first wife Val. Sir Ben reportedly told the Daily Telegraph: "I haven’t seen the show for a while, but I have very fond memories of it. "He added: "Coronation Street takes place in Salford and I was brought up five miles from there – it’s very much in my background and my territory. "So to be part of such an iconic series early on in my career was wonderful. We had great writers and extraordinary directors.
Everybody starts somewhere, don’t they? To think he trod the cobbines in 1966…he hasn’t done too badly for himself since then, has he? Of course, Corrie’s had guest appearances from practically every well known UK actor at some stage. Did you know that Davy Jones, of 1960s pop group The Monkees, kicked off his TV carreer on the show? Others who appeared in small roles before they became famous include: the late great Richard Beckinsale (father of actresses Kate and Samantha, famous himself in the 1970s. He starred in Porridge with Ronnie Barker); Martin Shaw (despite everything he’s done since, he’s still best-known as Ray Doyle in 1970s series The Professionals);Joanna Lumley, Gordon Kaye (‘Allo ‘Allo!), Prunella Scales (Fawlty Towers), Joanne Whalley (the future Mrs Val Kilmer) to name just a few.
Soaps are often a foot on the career ladder for American movie stars too: Meg Ryan, Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro, Mark Hamill, Demi Moore, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry and arguably one of the most famous soap alumni ever: Brad Pitt who got an early start playing ‘Randy’ in Dallas. Talking about future Hollywood stars, Ben Mitchell makes his dancing debut on EastEnders tonight; this promises to be nothing short of spectacular. In fact, it’s been rumoured that Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake will be secretly watching to see if they can steal any new dance moves….
That’s it for now. Join me on Monday for a full preview of all the week’s action to come in the soaps. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
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