Celebrating 60 years of Coronation Street
In celebration of Coronation Street’s 60th Anniversary this year, Royal Mail and ITV have created 12 special Coronation Street stamps. Launched on 12th May the stamps are in recognition of the significant role Coronation Street plays in British culture both past and present.
From the light viewer to the devoted fan, everyone has their favourite characters, moments and one-liners across the decades. So how do you represent heritage, culture, humour, and characters on a stamp?
ITV and Royal Mail worked with Manchester based design agency The Chase to create the eight main stamps which are inspired by some of Coronation Street’s most loved duos over the years: Ena Sharples and Elsie Tanner; Stan and Hilda Ogden; Vera and Jack Duckworth; Deirdre and Ken Barlow; Rita Tanner and Norris Cole; Hayley and Roy Cropper; Sunita and Dev Alahan; and Tracy and Steve McDonald.
Each of the special stamps feature an image of a couple and a quote capturing the essence of that relationship.
"For six decades Coronation Street’s fans have witnessed the unfolding lives of its residents, and shared their sorrows and laughter. We celebrate the nation’s best-known street with stamps showing some of its unforgettable characters."
- Philip Parker, Royal Mail
In our historic 60th year, it is an honour to have the show immortalised in this fashion. Coronation Street has had many iconic double acts down the years. Indeed, it’s a defining feature of the show. I hope fans will agree that the ones we’ve chosen, after much heated debate, are among the best of the bunch. This fun idea is a great way to pay homage to the nation’s best loved soap and give lovers of Coronation Street a little smile when an envelope pops through their letterbox and they see their favourite characters looking up at them.”Iain MacLeod, Series Producer, Coronation Street
The creative team at The Chase, Ric Bixter, Ellie Gray and Richard Scholey, noted: “Corrie has become more gritty over the years, but traditionally it has always been known for its humour, and that’s mainly what we wanted to bring out.”
Unlike most stamp issues, which involve creating a similar colour cast over the set, the designers wanted to retain a sense of the TV picture quality of each era – from grainy black and white to crisp, modern-day HD.
For the Miniature sheet there is a painstaking recreation of The Rovers Return bar, showing successive bar staff, and evolving decor, cleverly morphing through the decades. The stamp images are head-and-shoulders crops of the characters, carefully perforated from the background tableau.
Created by the late Salford born Tony Warren, Coronation Street is set in the backstreet of the fictional Northern town, Weatherfield. From its first broadcast on Friday 9th December 1960 the soap has always broken the norms and been relevant to the viewers. Characters have played storylines of the everyday and the extraordinary with honesty, wit and heart.
Storylines have consistently broken social taboos and created national conversations that are relevant to the viewer. Within months of its first transmission Coronation Street became the country’s most-watched programme and has remained in the top 10 most watched TV shows every week since and now sells to over 100 countries.
There have been more than 10,000 episodes of Coronation Street broadcast, featuring over 5,000 characters. Of the original characters, only one – Ken Barlow, played by William Roache – is still in the cast today, an achievement noted by Guinness World Records.
This has been an incredible partnership to lead. The development and celebration of these stamps have seen every corner of ITV coming together and supporting Royal Mail; from Coronation Street Editorial to Archive, Press, Casting, Marketing and Global. The Products Royal Mail have created are beautiful and will mean so much to our viewers in this exciting year for Coronation Street."Nicola Gillham, Lead Brand Manager for Continuing Drama, ITV