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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 11:38 AM   #1
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Mike Baldwin dead!

Tonight was the night we said an emotional goodbye to Mike Baldwin after 30 years on the Street.

Mike was semi-conscious in hospital fighting pneumonia. Confused with Alzheimers he left the hospital to make his way back to his beloved Coronation Street. Ken found him in his pyjamas, upset that his factory was closed and that he couldn't find his keys.

Believing that Deidre still wanted to leave Ken and live with Mike, he suffered a heart attack and died in his rival's arms.

Danny arrived and told Ken to leave him alone. As he held his father, sobbing quietly, the camera pulled back to reveal the full scene. Not a dry eye watching - Michael Vernon Baldwin is dead. The end of an era and the end of a Coronation Street legend.

Goodbye To Mike Baldwin

After thirty years in Coronation Street, Mike Baldwin died in the arms of bitter rival Ken Barlow, ending a feud between the two men that has lasted twenty years.

In recent months, Alzheimer's disease struck down the factory boss (played by 70-year-old Johnny Briggs), and viewers watched him visibly deteriorate both physically and mentally.

Mike Baldwin first appeared in Weatherfield as the ****y boyfriend of brassy barmaid Bet Lynch, way back in 1976. He's had a turbulent time with businesses, family and women. A spokesman for the soap said: "Mike Baldwin is one of Coronation Street's longest serving and most well-loved characters, and the writing team wanted to work on an exit storyline that did him justice." We pay tribute to a stalwart of Britain's much-loved soap.

Johnny Briggs, who has played the character for three decades, recently backed an awareness campaign by the Alzheimer's Society.

He said: "I was lucky when the director said 'cut' I could walk away from Alzheimer's disease. Thousands can't."
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 12:49 PM   #2
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Another fan of 'The Street'!

I knew it was coming but it was still a shock. He will not be easily replaced. Mike Baldwin had a dynamic character bordering good and evil. So many on The Street are fairly one dimensional in their pursuits.

Not many old timers left!
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 12:57 PM   #3
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JOHNNY BRIGGS: MY TOP 20 BIG STREET SCENES

Johnny Briggs

HE has packed more into 30 years than most people manage in a lifetime. As well as notching up 25 girlfriends and four marriages, Mike Baldwin has wheeled, dealed and brawled his way into becoming a Coronation Street legend.

But now he is to be killed off after Johnny Briggs, 70, who has played him since 1976, decided to retire. His funeral was filmed yesterday and will be screened next month. Johnny says: "I can't believe I've finally said goodbye to him - but I've got many fantastic memories."

On the final day of our serialisation, Johnny reveals in his own words his 20 greatest moments on British television's most famous street...

1 My first big scene 1976

THIS is me, very nervous, in my first big storyline.

I'd only just joined the cast but there was no stopping Mike. He started as he meant to go on, charming new girlfriend Bet Lynch, played by Julie Goodyear.

It wasn't long before we broke up and I was being walloped. When Mike called it a day Bet went mad. She was meant to give me a stage slap but she was so nervous she really went for it - she hit me so hard my teeth rattled.

We laughed about it afterwards but at the time I was in agony, believe me.

2 Secrets of the Rovers 1977

WHEN I joined it was the Rovers - with Annie Walker as landlady - that was Mike's second home.

From the start he was associated with his favourite tipple, Scotch, and those trademark cigars.

But what people don't know is I hate both and haven't smoked for more than 50 years. So I try not to light the cigars and won't inhale. And the Scotch is only apple juice. But when I first started I got a shock - it was gravy browning that had often gone off. Bloody horrible!

3 Death of Ernie Bishop 1978

CORRIE isn't a show that relies on violence for the sake of it but this was a fantastic story - certainly one of the most enjoyable.

It's so easy to forget how sensational it was at the time. Everyone was shocked to see a brutal armed robbery in the Street. It gave the show real edge.

I missed Stephen Han****, who played Ernie, though. He was a good guy and we used to enjoy a pint of Guinness together. But he had disagreed with the bosses about his contract, so his character was shot. It taught me a lesson about who's boss.

4 Tragic scenes with 'dad' 1982

THIS is a poignant picture for me because it is one of my last scenes with Sam Kydd, who played my dad Frankie.

He fell ill with emphysema while filming and later died. It was one of the most dramatic events of my career.

The writers had to change everything at very short notice and re-jig all the scenes we were going to do together.

To get round the loss of Sam, I pretended to talk to him on the phone for a total of 12 minutes to explain why he'd suddenly left Weatherfield.

It was a challenge but it worked.

5 Rejected by Maggie 1982

HERE'S love-'em-and-leave- 'em Mike in happier times with Maggie Dunlop - before she knocked back his proposal of marriage.

It was great seeing Mike unsure of himself for once.

The couple caused a scandal by moving in together. Mike's cleaner, Hilda Ogden, was especially outraged.

They split when he wouldn't lend her 3,000 to pursue her florists business. As a par ting shot Maggie, played by Jill Kerman, told him she was pregnant then refused to stay with him.

6 The Deirdre love triangle 1983

WHEN Mike first really clashed with Ken Barlow it was over his wife, Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride). One of the show's biggest-ever storylines, it attracted 22 million viewers.

Everyone was talking about us - people shouted "give her one" in the street. But many were upset when Deirdre went back to Ken (Bill Roache).

The dramatic closing scene was very emotional and Bill changed the script to make it even more charged - he decided Ken would never let Mike into his house. So when I turned up to see Deirdre, the mild-mannered teacher slammed the door in my face and shoved her against the wall.

7 First, unhappy marriage 1986

THIS was a bad day - for me and for Mike. When I heard bosses were planning for him to marry Ken's daughter Susan I complained. I didn't think the character should settle down.

They told me it wouldn't last long but in the end he was with Susan Barlow, played by Wendy Jane Walker, for a year.

It was a rotten time for me. I didn't get on with Wendy - she was too starry and wouldn't listen to advice. I used to eat garlic before our love scenes. I was glad when Mike and Susan split up over her having an abortion.

Little did I know Mike would have another three wives.

8 Punch up in the factory 1986

AS MIKE and Ken, Bill and I became famous for our punchups - this was the one that set the cat among the pigeons.

It was a classic, with Baldwin getting it in his own territory, the factory.

It took a lot to get Ken's blood up but after the way Mike had treated his daughter, he was rightly furious.

He marched into the office and let him have it.

This was one of those rare times he caught Mike off-guard. Luckily, Bill and I were more prepared.

Although it looks like I'm really taking a drubbing, we'd rehearsed so much it was all very controlled.

9 Thumping Ken in the Rovers 1990

IT TOOK him four long years, but Mike finally got his own back and landed one on Ken.

And I must say it was very satisfying. I felt fantastic as I knocked him over the table. All the regulars were watching, agog.

Bill and I had so many punch-ups over the years that we became old hands at it.

We never used a choreographer. Each time we needed less and less rehearsal - and enjoyed it more and more. It's one of the things I'll really miss and I know he will, too.

10 The demolition of Baldwins 1989

BOSSES hadn't warned me they were going to demolish Baldwin's factory on the set. I heard it being knocked down and ran out on to the Street just in time to see it being smashed to smithereens.

I was horrified, to me it meant only one thing - Mike was going to be written out.

The producer was there and reassured me they were going to build houses on the site. I asked if one of them was for Mike but he said "no", which worried me even more. I was convinced it was the end.

But I wasn't homeless for long - and my Underworld lingerie factory now looks set to stay where it is for a long time yet.

11 My first big scene 1976

WE LOOK very happy here, don't we? But, in true Baldwin-style, this marriage was shorter than his first - it lasted only a week.

When wealthy widow Jackie Ingram, played by Shirin Taylor, realised Mike was only after her money, she turned. In one of my favourite scenes, she threw off her wedding ring and pulled a shotgun.

He challenged her to use it and it was only when he looked again he realised it was loaded. The look on Mike's face was priceless.

But it served him right.

12 Marriage to Alma 1992

MIKE hasn't always picked the right women, but in Alma he'd found someone who really understood him.

I knew Amanda Barrie, who played her, from our Carry On days and naturally we got on like a house on fire.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with her and made a small fortune out of her racing tips.

This picture brings back fond memories because I remember what a laugh we had together - and how much we used to gee each other up.

13 Attacked by Don 1997

THIS was high drama, Corrie-style.

Cab driver Don Brennan was furious with Mike after losing money when he bought his garage. Wanting revenge, Don left hospital and clubbed him in his factory.

Geoff Hinsliff, who played Don, was brilliant - he looks terrifying here. I only wish I could say the same for my "wound". That blood wasn't too convincing. Fortunately when Don then tried to run Mike over, it was a stuntman who actually went flying across the bonnet of his minicab.

14 Deirdre is jailed 1998

AS you can see here, Amanda Barrie could pack quite a punch. It was a fantastic scene - but another sore chin for Briggs.

Her character, Alma, slapped Mike because she was angry that he had paid 10,000 towards Deirdre's defence in her fraud trial.

Even after so many years, I was stunned by how this storyline, which ended with Deirdre in jail, gripped the nation.

When Tony Blair talked about "freeing the Weatherfield One", we knew we were doing something right.

15 Injured by a punch 1998

IT'S not often Barlow gets the better of Baldwin but on this occasion Bill really did knock me for six.

I fell and landed badly on the cobbles, pain shooting up my arm.

It blew up like a football and turned every colour of the rainbow.

I couldn't miss filming, so with the help of some strong painkillers I managed to finish our scenes. To add insult to injury, the fall sparked off a twinge of gout - Bill still owes me one for that. As I often remind him.

16 Conned by a call girl 1999

MIKE thought this was going to be just another notch on his bedpost but very soon he learned the truth about Julia Stone, played by Fiona Allen.

She was a former prostitute who blackmailed him for 10,000.

He'd been flattered by a younger woman and had fallen for it hook, line and sinker. This story shows why Mike has been so popular. Men think: "How does he manage it? Lucky sod." But his luck ran out this time. He was left alone and vulnerable... until he met Linda, of course.

17 Truth about Linda 2000

MIKE thought he knew all there was to know about women until he met Linda Sykes (Jacqueline Pirie).

On the day he wed her, he discovered her affair with business partner, Mark (Paul Fox). As you can see he wasn't happy.

There was one aspect of the storyline I didn't like, though - Mike hitting Linda.

I didn't think he would do something like that. It was one of the very few things I clashed with bosses about - but they won in the end. Still, we had chemistry together and I still miss Paul because we genuinely did get on like father and son.

18 The Freshco siege 2000

MIKE and Ken were finally forced to bury the hatchet when they were taken hostage.

What viewers didn't realise was that our discomfort was real.

Bill and I were holed up together for eight hours and a real SWAT team was used to rescue us.

These guys weren't actors and it was scarily realistic when they stormed in. After the way they manhandled us, I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of them.

19 I'm Danny's dad 2005

DANNY had no idea Mike was his dad, so it was a huge shock when he found out he was the product of an affair between the man he thought was his uncle and his mum Viv.

As a fellow southerner, Bradley Walsh (who plays Danny) and I got on from the from the start.

He reminds me a lot of the young Mike. He's got that Baldwin twinkle in his eye, so few were surprised that they were father and son. The revelation brought a new dimension to Mike's family.

20 Suffering from Alzheimer's 2006

WHEN I decided I was leaving I told the scriptwriters I wanted Mike killed off and they came up with the Alzheimer's storyline.

It is harrowing to play and viewers have said it's hard to watch because it reminds them of relatives who have the disease.

This scene sums it up. Mike was dapper, so seeing him dishevelled made a real impact. I was taking longer in make-up each day as they made him look unravelled - a million miles from the good-looking, wide-boy of 30 years ago.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 01:14 PM   #4
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Good reading. Thanks for that!
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 01:15 PM   #5
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I started watching in the 80's
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 01:19 PM   #6
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Same with me. Sometime around '87 or so.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 01:40 PM   #7
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Long time fan of the show since almost the beginning. Have been on mail lists, read the newsgroup, have met some of the stars at the Brit Show in Toronto and elsewhere and attended pings. There is also an IRC channel for Corrie fans.
My nick is one of the early characters on the show, Ena Sharples.
I do not resemble her in any way
Any of you 'cheat' and look at the current UK epi's?
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 03:40 PM   #8
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i just got back from the UK and caught an episode last night......my wife and I are huge fans so whenever we're there we like to watch an episode just to freak us out

and I can assure you, the events that will unfold over the next 9 months will be great viewing!!!

I won't spoil it for you all
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawaman
JOHNNY BRIGGS: MY TOP 20 BIG STREET SCENES

Johnny Briggs

HE has packed more into 30 years than most people manage in a lifetime. As well as notching up 25 girlfriends and four marriages, Mike Baldwin has wheeled, dealed and brawled his way into becoming a Coronation Street legend.

But now he is to be killed off after Johnny Briggs, 70, who has played him since 1976, decided to retire. His funeral was filmed yesterday and will be screened next month. Johnny says: "I can't believe I've finally said goodbye to him - but I've got many fantastic memories."

On the final day of our serialisation, Johnny reveals in his own words his 20 greatest moments on British television's most famous street...
Hey Ottawaman,

I am wondering where this long bit came from. Do you have a link for it?
I think that there were some picture associated with the article and would love to send them to me old MUM who is a big C-street fan.

Thanks
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinerCa
Hey Ottawaman,

I am wondering where this long bit came from. Do you have a link for it?
I think that there were some picture associated with the article and would love to send them to me old MUM who is a big C-street fan.

Thanks
http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/tm_objec...name_page.html

cheers
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