Grace Dent on TV: Watching Coronation Street is murder – and not just for the characters

'There were several people I’d cheerily have seen murdered before Tina – how Fiz remains still breathing is a mystery'

Share

There’s been a terrible carry-on in Weatherfield this week. A right rum business. Tina’s dead. She fell off scaffolding. You know, Tina? Her that served in the Rover’s, with the spray tan. She wears those beige loose linen cardigans and always has her brows plucked just so. Slim little thing? Like a whippet on its hind legs. She’d have to run around in the shower to get wet, Tina would, but then that’s youth for you.

She was shacked up with Gail’s lad David Platt for a while. No, none of us could quite see that either. David Platt is a terrible scrote. That Gail thinks she’s a cut above – always has done ever since her mother was married to Alf, Weatherfield’s mayor – but she’s never had any control over those kids. I still remember when Eileen and her were fighting on the cobbles in their dressing gowns like navvies.

Gail was involved with Tina’s dad, Joe, for a while too. But he always had a face on him like a damp Tuesday in Lytham as his back was playing up. He ate the Kabin’s entire supply of Nurofen Extra and eventually fell in a lake and drowned. Good riddance, we all said. He was a mardy git. Now I think about it, Tina McIntyre didn’t have the happiest of lives.

And then she gets herself tangled up with Peter Barlow. A bigamist, a boozer, a dictionary definition “right bastard”. We thought she’d have more sense. But that Peter has a strange hold over women. They think they can fix him. He needs fixing, alright, with scissors, like a vet fixes a dog. I still don’t forgive him for showing up at little Simon’s nativity play totally steamboat, shouting the odds. For a committed boozer, Peter is a terrible drunk. Two sniffs of the beer towel and he’s shouting at wheelie bins and doing press-ups outside the Rover’s to settle a bet. Awful. He’s been in rehab. The doctors made a good fist of changing his drinking habits, but they can’t stop him being a tit. They’d need to start his personality from scratch and you can’t get that on the NHS. It makes me furious how everyone lets him off with his skulduggery, a little more tough love, a little less sympathy from Deirdre and, “oh Peter, I’ll make you my special stuffed marrow”. I still don’t forgive him for breaking poor Shell’s heart by having it away with that florist, Lucy.

Let us not forget Peter Barlow married both of them. At the same time! Obviously, Shell was complicit in her downfall. Peter would stay out all night at Lucy’s house then stumble home saying he’d been dealing with urgent nocturnal business at the bookmakers. She’d just coo and make him a sausage butty. What did Shelly think he was doing all night? Tucking the horses up in bed and reading them Black Beauty?

This is the problem with Peter Barlow – I’ve shouted this at my telly for months – no matter what he does, he’ll always find another woman who’ll stomach it. I thought Tina had more gumption. It turns out I was wrong. We’ve watched for months as a secret kiss turned to a full-blown crush, turned to an ongoing dalliance, then eventually to Tina’s tears and ultimatums. Unbeknown to Tina, Peter’s wife Carla was pregnant. Peter never mentioned this. He’d promised to run off with Tina to Portsmouth. “We’d never have got to Portsmouth!” he shouted at her this week as the pregnancy was revealed and a fight ensued, “It’d have been over by Stockport!”

So, the street is in a terrible state at the moment. The police are investigating who might have reason to kill Tina, with the answer being, “who didn’t?” Pre-death, Tina had carouselled around the cobbles making enemies of everyone. It wasn’t remotely in character for her, but all soap fans knew the drill.

The irony is that there were several people I’d cheerily have seen murdered before Tina. How Fiz remains breathing despite her incessant mithering of the recently bereaved loner Roy Cropper is a mystery. If he’d strangled her and argued diminished responsibility not a court in the land would have imprisoned him.

And soppy Maria Connor stays steadfastly un-murdered, despite her stalking campaign against Tyrone Dobbs. I would have strangled Nick Tilsley in his restaurant with my bare hands and left him face-down in one of his “a pint and soup” lunchtime meal deals, and it wouldn’t have troubled my conscience. Instead, they kill off Tina. It’s a world gone mad.

Of course, it’s Rita I feel sorry for. She’s had a terrible year with that 100-per-cent gold-plated wasteman Dennis Tanner. Rita and Tina may have had terse words before Tina died, but Rita was her mother hen. She is the nation’s mother hen. I have known her as long as my own mother. Tina brought Rita’s world a splash of youthful daftness that helped offset the gloom of Norris, Mary and Emily Bishop. My thoughts are with Rita at this difficult time. It’s been a hard week for all of us. I know they’re not real people. I may have given 40 years to this show, but seriously, I could give up any time.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

 

Naturism criminalised: Why not being able to bare all is a bummer

Simon Usborne
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on