It all began 40 years ago, on December 9, 1960, when the first episode of Coronation Street was screened. Originally intended to last only 13 episodes, the series has now nearly notched up an amazing 5,000 episodes.
When a fantastic party was held to commemorate the much-loved programme’s ruby anniversary, with street stars past and present coming together to mark the occasion, HELLO! was exclusively invited to cover the event.
The stars of the show arrived by limousine at Manchester’s town hall, where the Gothic-style architective provided a spectacular back-drop for the night. Huge candelabra highlighted the stained-glass windows, and the stairs were strewn with rose petals. The effect was all rather regal - fitting for a party for the "King Of Soaps".
Actors from the earliest episodes mingled with characters now deceased, while ex-spouses, lovers and enemies from different storylines and times all chatted happily together. After dining in the magnificent Great Hall, guests received tributes, via video screens, from famous fans - including Cilla Black, Lulu, Emma Bunton, Michael Parkinson, Jules Holland and Tony Blair - who summed up the mood of the birthday night by saying "Here’s to another 40 years!"

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