Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Dennis 'The Menace' Tanner Returns to Coronation Street

We heard the news yesterday that Dennis The Menace’ Tanner is to return to the cobbles of Coronation St this March.

The son of Corrie legend Elsie Tanner, he appeared in the opening episode of the serial on December 9th 1960 having just been released from jail.

He left the Street in 1968 when he married Jenny Sutton and moved to Bristol.

Not only is he returning, but for authenticity’s sake, the great news is that he’s returning under the guise of Philip Lowrie, who originally played him in the 1960s. He has signed up for an initial 6 month contract and will renew his sparring relationship with Ken Barlow who also appeared in that first episode.

Goodbye, Hello – Ray Langton & Jed Stone
This won’t be the first time that a well known Cobbles character will have made a return after a decades long absence.

Ray Langton in the 1970s
Ray in 2005
Ray Langton, the first husband to Deirdre and father to tearaway Tracy, left for Holland in 1978.

27 years later in 2005, Neville Buswell resurrected the character to return to tell his daughter Tracy in particular that he was dying of stomach cancer.

He did so and they came closer to each other before he died in the Rovers in Ken and Deirdre’s second wedding reception (only the second character to die there after Martha Longhurst in 1964).

Jed Stone in the 1960s
But the longest character absence from the Street until now was that of Jed Stone who was a character from 1961-1966. Ironically, he was friends with Dennis Tanner and was famously a lodger with Minnie Caldwell at No.5 – her nickname for him was ‘Sunny Jim’.

Jed in 2008
He re-appeared under the same guise of actor Kenneth Cope after a 42 years absence in 2008 when he came up against Tony Gordon who was developing the Nightingale Terrace flats that had been Jed’s home for over 40 years. After a number of run-ins with Gordon, he was last reported to have suffered a second heart attach whilst in hospital in February 2009.

A 1960’s Corrie Cobbles Reunion?
But Dennis Tanner’s return will break the Jed Stone record for a Street absence as it will be 43 years since we last saw him in Salford.

As Jed Stone’s fate has not been addressed now for almost 2 years, have the script-writers inadvertently left open the opportunity for the two old friends to be reunited over 45 years after they’d last met on the Cobbles?

Now that would be a Street treat…

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