Created by Tony Warren in 1960, Coronation Street is one of the longest running TV programmes of all time. It follows the ups and downs of life on a typical cobbled street of terraced houses in a fictional northern town called Weatherfield, located in Greater Manchester. For the first episode of Coronation Street, creator Tony Warren drew from real life to create memorable characters, setting a template for the hit ITV show for the next five decades. There was the social-climbing publican Annie Walker (Doris Speed) and her hen-pecked husband, Jack (Arthur Leslie); the sultry suburban bombshell Elsie Tanner (played by the legendary Pat Phoenix), a character later incarnated in Bet Gilroy (Julie Goodyear) and Natalie Barnes (Denise Welch); and the Street’s busybody, battle-axe Ena Sharples (Violet Carson). Storylines on Coronation Street tend to follow the domestic dramas of everyday life, with the occasional major catastrophe thrown in for effect – for example, the fire at The Rovers Return which nearly killed Bet Gilroy; Tracey Barlow murdering boyfriend Charlie Stubbs; and killer Richard Hillman driving the entire Platt family into the canal. Since its creation, Coronation Street has become a British icon, with illustrious stars Sir Ian McKellan, Sir Trevor McDonald, Peter Kay, Maureen Lipman and even Prince Charles eager to appear in it. Despite its distinct Mancunian accents and Northern humour, Coronation Street is also loved around the world and is screened in the Republic of Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.