CORONATION STREET UNVEILS WIDER WEATHERFIELD EXTENSION AHEAD OF APRIL PREMIERE 45

ITV have today proudly unveiled Victoria Street, the new extended exterior set of Coronation Street.

For years the area surrounding the terraced houses, Rovers Return, corner shop, cafe and newsagents has existed only in the viewers’ imagination, but from May fans will be able see what life is like beyond the cobbles of Britain’s most famous street.

Months of planning and building has resulted in a fantastic new retail area complete with shops, eateries, an urban garden, Weatherfield North tram stop and a police station.

A specially commissioned, mosaic covered, memorial bench will have pride of place in the urban garden in memory of Coronation Street superfan Martyn Hett, and all those who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena bomb in May 2017. Martyn’s family were the first people to see the new set last week during a private visit and are present at the unveiling today.

In a nod to the soap’s 57 year history the road on the new set is made from cobbles reclaimed from the old Quay Street site which was home to the residents of Coronation Street from 1982 to 2013

‘Wider Weatherfield’ will be seen on screen for the first time on Friday 20th April.

A continuation of the 1999 addition of Victoria Street, which is home to the kebab shop, Roys Rolls, Community Centre, Victoria Court and the builders yard, the new set took over three years to develop from original drawings to completion.

The entire area has been aged to look as though it has been there for as long as Coronation Street and Rosamund Street.

With the show now transmitting six episodes a week the new set gives more filming options on the Trafford Wharf Road site, reducing to some degree the need to go out on location.

Product placement deals mean that for the first time real retail outlets will be represented on the set in the shape of Costa Coffee and a Co-op.

Round the corner from the main area is a modern two storey police station which will eventually have a reception, cells, corridors and interview rooms. A Nuttalls brewery building houses a production construction workshop, utilising the large interior space.

Kate Oates, Series Producer, said: “The Victoria Street extension represents an exciting chapter in Corrie history: an amazing new stage, full of dramatic potential. Our amazingly talented design team have created everything from scratch – but it still manages to have the feeling of always having been there, just around the corner.”

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YOUR ULTIMATE TV GUIDE: WHO’S APPEARING ON WHAT? 31

Here is your guide to the upcoming TV appearances, from The Voice to Sounds Like Friday Night, awards show to chat shows.

SOUNDS LIKE FRIDAY NIGHT – FRIDAY 13 APRIL @ 19.30 ON BBC ONE
Greg James is joined in the studio by special guest Lily Allen. Returning with her first new album in four years, Lily performs two tracks, including her latest single Higher. Sam Smith treats Dotty to an exclusive performance when she meets him backstage at the O2 as he embarks on a world tour. Singer-songwriter James Bay also returns with new music, performing his single Wild Love live in the studio. Australian chart-toppers 5 Seconds of Summer give a special performance of Want You Back – the lead single from their highly anticipated third album.

There is also part two of Dotty’s trip to Tokyo to meet Little Mix – this week they take on Sounds Like Friday Night’s 60 Seconds of Song challenge. How many of their hits can they cram into one minute?

THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW – FRIDAY 13 APRIL @ 22.35 ON BBC ONE
Graham is joined by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oscar-nominated star of Moonlight and James Bond Naomie Harris, starring together in monster movie Rampage, and Sherlock and The Hobbit star Martin Freeman, appearing in horror anthology Ghost Stories. Roger Daltrey performs his new single As Long as I Have You.

ZOE BALL ON SATURDAY – SATURDAY 14 APRIL @ 08.30 ON ITV
To kick start her brand new show Zoe Ball will be joined by Hollywood actor Michael Sheen, Geordie comedian Chris Ramsey and Radio 1 DJ Greg James. Plus, there’s music in the studio from award-winning US band Walk The Moon.

HARRY HILL’S ALIEN FUN CAPSULE – SATURDAY 14 APRIL @ 19.30 ON ITV
Helping Harry Hill fill the fun capsule and prevent an alien invasion this week are, comedian Micky Flanagan, political journalist Robert Peston, Coronation Street actor Sally Dynevor, and broadcasting legend Anneka Rice.

ZOE BALL ON SUNDAY – SUNDAY 15 APRIL @ 08.30 ON ITV
Zoe Ball eases us into Sunday morning, with celeb chats and music from singer-songwriter Lissie. Plus, The Saturdays’ Mollie King meets Hollywood stars Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning – find out what they make of Zoe’s ‘bag of balls’!

LOOSE WOMEN – MONDAY 16 TO FRIDAY 20 APRIL @12:30 ON ITV
On Monday, Boy George drops by to talk about the upcoming Culture Club tour. Tuesday sees Brian Conley reveal all about his new show Buy It Now. Amanda Redman drops by on Wednesday to discuss the latest series of The Good Karma Hospital, while American actress Kathleen Turner drops in on Thursday. Finally, joining the girls on Friday will be music icons Shaggy and Sting

CELEBRITY JUICE – THURSDAY 19 APRIL @ 22.00 ON ITV2
Joining the panel this week is TV presenter Scarlett Moffat, First Dates Fed Sirieix and Geordie funny man Chris Ramsey.

SOUNDS LIKE FRIDAY NIGHT – FRIDAY 20 APRIL @ 19.30 ON BBC ONE
Greg James and Dotty present and are joined by Canadian chart topper Shawn Mendes. With over four billion views online, Shawn performs two songs live in the studio. Indie rockers The Vaccines perform their new single I Can’t Quit, while Brits Critic Choice winner Jorja Smith delivers a special performance of her track Blue Light.

THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW – FRIDAY 20 APRIL @ 22.35 ON BBC ONE
Graham is joined by Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, playing Dr Strange in Avengers: Infinity War, Matt LeBlanc, playing himself in the final series of Episodes, actress Maxine Peake, playing a 70s club comedian in Funny Cow and Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman talking about new BBC1 show Britain’s Best Cook. Plus music from Calvin Harris featuring Dua Lipa, performing new single One Kiss.

CELEBRITY JUICE – THURSDAY 26 APRIL @ 22.00 ON ITV2
Joining the panel this week are pop sensation John Newman and Celebrity Juice regular Gino ‘Sheffield’ D’Acampo.

HOLLYOAKS CONFIRMS SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDER STORYLINE 31

Hollyoaks are set to launch a powerful new mental health storyline for Alfie Nightingale as he starts hearing a voice and is diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder.

The teenager has been struggling to cope with life since the loss of his soulmate Jade Albright and his loved ones started to fear that he was exhibiting odd behaviour when he worked on a robot to replace Jade.

But in coming weeks, when a voice in Alfie’s head starts communicating with him and ordering him to do things, it becomes clear that things are extremely serious. And Hollyoaks has been working with the charity Mind to ensure that it represents the condition with sensitivity and accuracy.

The storyline, which will form part of the soap’s award-winning #DontFilterFeelings campaign

In episodes due to air at the beginning of April, Alfie will freak out when a voice in his head tells him not to trust his family and when he tries to ignore it and goes stargazing with Ellie, he is continuously plagued by the voice which is warning him off.

It is just the beginning of a difficult journey for Alfie who will be given the diagnosis, which involves patients experiencing psychotic symptoms not dissimilar to schizophrenia and the mood symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Richard Linnell who plays Alfie said: ‘I feel deeply honoured to have been trusted with such a strong and complex story for Alfie. We’ve been working closely with both Mind, and talking to people who have been kind enough to share their personal experiences of the condition.

‘It’s going to be a tumultuous road ahead for Alfie and in telling a deeply truthful, powerful story we hope to continue to break down the stigmas surrounding mental health as a whole.’

A spokesperson for Mind added: ‘We are so pleased that Hollyoaks are tackling the mental health condition Schizoaffective Disorder and have enjoyed working with them over many months. We know that when done well soap storylines can have a really positive affect on a huge audience, changing attitudes and encouraging people to seek help.’

As part of the #DontFilterFeelings campaign, which has included other storylines such as Scott’s depression and Lily’s self harm, Hollyoaks also sought the help and advice of mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin, who helped to create the acclaimed Channel 4 documentary Stranger On A Bridge.

He said: ‘It was a real privilege to work with Hollyoaks on this storyline. The soap has done fantastic work in increasing understanding and reducing stigma attached to mental health issues in the past. The team I worked with were wonderful.

‘I really hope this storyline will make an impact on public perception of Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder, which has for too long been misconceived and feared. I’m so pleased Hollyoaks have been brave and bold enough to tackle this sensitive subject.’

The storyline kicks off on Wednesday 4th April at 7pm on E4.