Daisy Nook Garden Centre in Greater Manchester transformed itself into the set of Coronation Street last month to assist its local hospice with a major fundraising event.
Mark Llewellin, one of the owners of the centre and a hospice trustee, said: “This year is the hospice’s 21st birthday and sadly, due to COVID-19, the majority of events have had to be cancelled. The hospice is a voluntary organisation and relies on the public’s generosity so they’ve been hit hard. The hospice has a lot of connections to Coronation Street (the founding patron was actor Roy Barraclough, a lot of classic stunts have been filmed in this area and actress Julie Hesmondhalgh is a fellow trustee) so they came up with the idea of making a film about the show’s history (it celebrates 60 years this December).”
As a former actor and theatre director Mark was able to use his contacts to persuade a Manchester-based production company to come on board. BBC Radio Manchester’s Jane Hodson agreed to co-host and a number of stars past and present offered to record interviews.
Mark said: “What we needed was a set, so our display team stepped forward and built a makeshift TV studio in the garden centre complete with backdrop of the street set, landscaped gardens and even a cat!”
The film will be available to download in return for a donation from the hospice’s website from 9 December, Coronation Street’s actual birthday. Mark has also persuaded his friend, actress Julie Goodyear, best known as Rovers landlady Bet Lynch, to donate 60 lots to be actioned off via the hospice’s ebay shop from mid-November. All the details are on the hospice website.