26 November 2010

Coronation Street 1980s: Part 3: Mark Eden - Wally Randle, 1981/Alan Bradley, 1986

Alan Bradley (Mark Eden) was the most chilling Coronation Street character of the 1980s. Slowly but surely, we saw the facade of an ordinary, decent man drop away to reveal something horribly cold and calculating. Worse still, our Rita (Barbara Knox) was taken in by him, and almost lost her life, smothered by a cushion in 1989, because of it.

The story-line played out slowly from 1986-1989, and is remembered as one of Coronation Street's finest, ending only when Alan was killed by a Blackpool tram.

The story-line was also groundbreaking in that it was the first time The Street had featured such a slow burning, psychological drama.

But did you know that Mark Eden, so mind blowing as evil Alan, once played a very different role in Corrie?

Tis true!

When Elsie Tanner (Patricia Phoenix) started work at Jim Sedgewick's new transport cafe on Rosamund Street in 1980, she was bound to meet fellas.

And, of course, she did.

In February 1981, she met one Wally Randle and was attracted to him. She invited him to stay at No 11 Coronation Street with her, but sadly Wally saw it only as a friendly arrangement, and fled when Elsie made her feelings plain.

And guess who played nice lorry driver Wally? Yep, top prize is yours, Mark Eden!

Mr Eden's stint as Wally Randle lasted only from February to April 1981, and when Alan Bradley turned up in 1986, none of us remembered Wally.

In fact, if it was not for Alan Bradley and the Mark Eden link between the two characters, I'm not sure I'd even be recalling Wally now!

1989: The fatal tram - Alan Bradley has met his end, and Rita's wits are completely scattered. Another tram is apparently to feature in Coronation Street's 50th anniversary story-line!

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