(Granada, first transmitted 9 December 1960; still ongoing)
What more can be said about the world's longest-running drama series? Manchester's most famous fictional street recently celebrated thirty-five years on the screen. Created by Tony Warren, and based on his real-life experience of the urban slums of Salford, most of the main characters were drawn from actual figures and the series projected to end after twelve episodes has notched up thousands of editions and brought generations of much-loved characters into British homes, week after week. Haughty Annie Walker, formidable matriarch Ena Sharples, busybody Hilda Ogden and her layabout husband Stan, not to mention the ordinary Barlow family and tartish Elsie Tanner all became like extra members of the family to the British public. The Sixties episodes, despite their primitive production values, were much more in the mould of the hard-edged, realistic drama that established Granada's reputation that today's more traditional "soapified" version. Even if you are not a Street fan, give this one a chance; you'll probably be very surprised by what you find.
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