Coronation Street: Why it's more than just a soap

Cat Davies/Holly Morgan Image copyright Cat Davies/Holly Morgan

Forget dating apps or school sweethearts, 18-year-old Cat Davies met her girlfriend through their shared love of Coronation Street.

"Instead of loving a rock band or a Netflix series, I've always loved Corrie", she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

The show, which has been running since 1960, aired its 10,000th episode on Friday. It's the longest running soap in the world.

The anniversary episode saw Ken Barlow decide to leave the famous cobbles although the character will still be part of the show - he'll just live elsewhere.

Cat's love for Corrie doesn't end with the closing credits. She runs a fan page for Carla, a character in the programme.

Image copyright Cat Davies
Image caption Cat and Hannah (who she met through their Corrie fan accounts) met Shayne Ward, who played Aidan in the series

"We all make video edits of our favourite characters, so we take bits of them in the programme and add music and effects."

Both Cat and her girlfriend Shan made these video edits, and so found one another on Instagram.

After speaking online, they decided to meet up in 2016 when Cat was visiting Manchester, from south west Wales.

Cat met "most of [her] closest friends" from the online community surrounding the soap.

Apart from juicy storylines keeping her hooked three nights a week, she says watching it religiously has made her a "more understanding person".

"It always made me judge people less. The different stories just show you that you never know what's going on behind closed doors."

The storylines, although sometimes unrealistic (let's not talk about Vicky's birth scene), are important to a lot of viewers. Recent topics have included male rape and cervical cancer.

"Someone I know really connected with Carla's psychosis storyline last year.

"When you watch it you can gain an understanding of things you might not have even known you were going through."

26-year-old Holly Morgan has been watching Coronation Street for more than ten years. She agrees that the storylines are more than just something to watch with a cuppa.

Image copyright Holly Morgan
Image caption Holly says Corrie is better than other soaps because of its balance between "funny and serious"

"There's an emotional abuse storyline at the moment, and that's something I went through.

"Having things like that in the show raises awareness about what people go through; a lot of people don't really understand emotional abuse and gaslighting.

"This storyline has got people talking. It opens people's eyes."

Image copyright Cat Davies
Image caption Cat met Chris Gascoyne who plays Peter in the soap

With more choice of big budget programmes at our fingertips, Cat says soaps still have a place in entertaining all ages of people.

She said: "There are loads of good new series' but you'd be wrong to say soaps are out of date.

"Because it's never ending, you have this constant connection with the characters and stories.

"So, to some people it's just a show, but to others it can mean a great deal because of how they connect with these characters and what they've gone through."

To mark its 10,000th episode on Friday, there was a nostalgic episode filled with nods to previous characters and plots.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption William Roach has played Ken Barlow since the first episode back in 1960

Whether it's dramatic storylines, funny characters or a way to meet new friends, millions of people still agree with Cat that there's "nothing better than to come home and just wind down and watch Corrie".

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