Coronation Street, the TV soap opera, is something of an institution for the Northern diaspora. We relive our childhood and rekindle memories of a way of life and a gentle humour unknown on ‘suicide watch’ as the rival ‘Eastenders’ programme is known in our household.
There are immutable props, the cobbled street, the Pakistani run corner shop, the ‘greasy spoon’ cafe; we know they still exist somewhere ‘oop North’ and Coronation Street obligingly trots them out for us week after week. Someone, somewhere, is probably mightily offended by the stereotype that is the Pakistani run corner shop; someone, somewhere, is possibly up in arms regarding the celebration of the artery clogging and cholesterol inducing ‘full English breakfast’ that is permanently on sale in ‘Roy’s Cafe’. Unfortunately for them, they are not fashionably offended.
The fashionable offence is offending ‘Muslim sensibilities’. Thus it was that the symbol of the official religion of the United Kingdom, Christianity, became the Cross that dare not show it’s face. The Producer of Coronation Street decided that a cross in a church had to be removed before it was considered a ‘suitable’ setting for two characters ‘Molly and Tyrone’ ‘to be wed in multi-cultural’ Britain. They insisted that the bronze cross on the altar of a 14th-century church should be covered over because it might offend viewers. The Revd James Milnes, of St Mary’s Church in Nether Alderley, Cheshire, said the producers originally asked for it to be removed entirely, but they compromised on it being concealed behind candles and flowers.
Why not ban the use of the Bible during the service ‘lest it cause offence’. Why not disguise the Vicar behind candles and flowers ‘lest he cause offence’, indeed why not go the whole hog and ban weddings from soap operas ‘lest it cause offence’ to those who live ‘over the brush’……..
Whilst we are at it, let us ban pubs from soap opera settings, there is Toc-H to consider; sweatshirt garbed ‘Hoodies’ – there are the ‘recently mugged’ to consider.
I retreat to Coronation Street to escape political correctness, if I want to be told what to think, what is acceptable to our Labour administration (I hesitate to use the word Government) I turn on the BBC News 24 – now that is a politically correct soap opera.