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The Grouch – 8/12/10

Bloxham in Corrie crash drama; fire station punch-up continues; silly Jedward and super skiffle

Published on December 9th 2010.


The Grouch – 8/12/10

Corrie redevelopment plot
This week was all about the Corrie tram crash. The street hadn’t seen such disaster since Jack lost a pigeon and Betty had a threesome with Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin*. The crash generated loads of publicity, and also wiped out a few characters. But one of The Grouch’s favourite Twitter responses was from comic actor @Mrchrisaddison, who is clearly au fait with the regional regeneration agenda and the local developer scene. “I wonder how long before Tom Bloxham turns the houses on Coronation Street into a Desirable New Concept for Urban Living,” he mused.

*This never actually happened. We don’t think.

London Road callingThe next broadside has been fired in the battle for the London Road Fire Station. The council has started a formal search for a new developer. I imagine this will come as a surprise to the owners, Britannia Hotels, who have no intention of letting the council complete their compulsory purchase order.

I’m not going to go over old ground on the rights and wrongs of either side (plenty has been written already), but I will say that it will be a massive shock if anyone other than Argent gets the gig.

Of course the council has to be fair and transparent, but Argent must be heavy odds-on favourites to land the building.

The one sticking point may be the total and utter resistance offered by Britannia boss Alex Langsam, who feels that the council’s CPO bid is unreasonable.

If I were a betting man, I’d suggest that this one is more likely to end up stuck in enquiries, appeals and courts for some time yet. Which doesn’t help the redevelopment of a landmark building.

Jedward fail to gel
Jedward cool? Or maybe not. The hapless Irish twins were in Manchester this week to jump out of a big box dressed as Buzz Lightyear to plug a record attempt at the world’s biggest pass the parcel, displaying about as much dignity as a drunk caught having a wee in the doorway of a school.

Woolworths were behind the stunt, and Confidential was due to meet the hyperactive pair, to ask them about student tuition fees, the benefits to local government of tax incremental financing as a revenue raiser and if they enjoyed being handled by Louis Walsh.

The appointment – set by the PR firm – was set for 6.50pm; three hours after the actual event they wanted covering. They were due on a plane at 6.45pm.

As planning goes, it’s up there with Jedward’s decision to release a cover of Ghostbusters. So alas, The Grouch did not get to meet Jedward, and the pot of wet-look gel that had been bought especially will have to remain in the bathroom cupboard.

Skiffle skill
The Christmas Markets are even bigger this year, which means even more sausage and gluhwein. Never a bad thing. The Grouch was having a mooch around the various stalls over the weekend and stumbled upon something fantastic. A tweed-clad skiffle band called Asparagus and the Kilburn habit. Their cover of Girls Aloud’s Love Machine was joyous, warming up the crowd on a frosty afternoon. They were on Brazennose Street, and are clearly destined for bigger things. Catch them before they get to popular and become the first skiffle band to sell out Wembley Stadium.

IT’S ACTUALLY MANFLU AND ITS VERY SERIOUS

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