Belfast Telegraph

Live Corrie show draws 15m viewers

Nearly 15 million people tuned in to watch Coronation Street's live episode marking its 50th anniversary.

Last night's hour-long show, which went with barely a hitch, brought the programme its biggest audience for nearly seven years.

The slice of high drama - which left viewers on tenterhooks as the tram crash disaster continued - pulled in 14.9 million viewers at its peak, with an average of 14 million watching throughout.

The show attracted more than half of last night's TV audience. The Apprentice: The Final Five, which was broadcast at the same time, drew just 2.5 million viewers.

The 65-strong cast delivered a near-seamless performance as show bosses crammed a birth, a death and a wedding into 60 highly-charged scenes.

Molly Dobbs, played by Vicky Binns, became the second victim of the tram crash disaster which rocked the street following an explosion at The Joinery bar.

Fiz Stape (Jennie McAlpine) gave birth to premature daughter Hope, and a seriously injured Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) gasped his wedding vows to Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) before flatlining on his hospital bed.

After the credits rolled, Corrie producer Phil Collinson said: "I'm so proud and gobsmacked at how brilliant it looked. It was like seeing it for the first time. I'm stunned and amazed."

A Corrie spokeswoman dismissed claims of a wheelchair blooper, pointing out that actress Cherylee Houston - who suffers from the same rare tissue disorder as her character Izzy - is able to stand for short periods.

She said that in the scene in question she was actually kneeling on the chair to prop herself on the bar.

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