VANCOUVER, B.C – Two of the most beloved characters in the history of the long-time running British soap Coronation Street visited Vancouver on a week-long tour of Western Canada earlier this month. “The Croppers” as they are affectionately known by Corrie fans, ventured across the pond for an “All English” tour that had them meeting fans, taking in local sites, and talking all things Corrie during their 5 city 6 show tour in Alberta and B.C. from June 8-14.
Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley), and David Neilson (Roy) decided that June would be a great time to visit Western Canada for a working holiday. Both actors left Manchester, England and arrived in Calgary on June 6. With such huge demand for one of Coronation’s Streets favourite couples Julie, and David managed to work in sightseeing, and a few fun tours during their hectic schedule with the help of CBC Meteorologist Claire Martin.
(Julie) “We scooted around Stanley Park which is beautiful, we’ve been down to the waterfront, and Gastown. We went to Granville Island and did a bit of shopping. We’ve had a really good taste of the city.”
(David) “The whole thing has been absolutely amazing, the audience, the people, and everyone has been so generous and welcoming. The highlight off the stage has been the seeing the whales, I will remember that for the rest of my life.”
(Julie) “Claire (Martin) our host has been whale watching four times, and she’s never seen one. It was quite a hairy ride out for an hour and we saw a pod of seven Orcas, and it was just beautiful.”
Their tour started in Calgary, and then visited Edmonton, Nanaimo, Victoria, and finally Vancouver on June 14. Tickets were quickly snapped up for all 6 shows including a pair in Calgary.
It’s not often actors form Coronation Street venture out to the West Coast. Production scheduling back home, flights, and hotel costs have kept many Corrie actors in Ontario, and the Maritimes when they’ve previously visited Canada. Fans of the show were quite happy Julie, and David decided to make their holiday in Alberta, and B.C.
The show itself was a delightful 90 minutes full of stories, singing, and a few spoilers from upcoming episodes. The first half featured Julie, and David talking about their characters, and life playing Hayley, and Roy Cropper. The second half of the show was a question, and answer portion between the audience, and Julie and David.
Fans showed their admiration for both actors, and asked a wide range of questions about previous, and upcoming episodes on the Street. Julie, and David answered every question, and even offered a bit of insight into what may happen to Coronation Street arsonist, and murderer Karl Munro.
David, and Julie loved being in Canada to meet everyone that came out to see them on tour. Coronation Street fans in Canada are quite a bit different to what they’re used to back in England.
(Julie) “Canadian fans are always so polite, enthusiastic and they make us feel so welcomed. It’s a bonus that we happen to be in this beautiful place as well.”
(David) “The reaction is different here to at home… I find that it’s much more respectful and people are pleased we’ve come all this way which is great because were delighted to be here. The people really seem to understand the show, it’s amazing!! People have an emotional connection to the UK through the show, and we’ve met some people who are really moved by it in a way that I’ve never seen in the UK.”
Julie, and David, received a few gifts from adoring fans including Nanaimo bars, chocolates, and maple syrup. Although David is not an avid shopper Julie was keen to take back a few gifts for her family.
(David) “My wife is a good shopper, and as my suitcase was very nearly overweight coming out I’ll have to leave stuff here.”
(Julie) “I’ve got some things for my daughters so I’ve got some bits and bobs, mainly to do with Orca whales because that’s been the theme of the trip. We’ve also been given some gifts from people that have come to see the show. We’ve been given Inukshuk’s and I’ve got two maple syrup lollipops for my girls.”
The Croppers Full English tour was a great success and Corrie fans were left with memories they will cherish and hold onto forever. Having Julie, and David travel all this way to show their appreciation, and love for their Canadian Coronation Street fans means the world to those who sit down each and every evening to watch the show.
Andrew Stuckless, of Stroll Promotions is the man behind the tours of your favourite Coronation Street stars from coast to coast. If you’re in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, or Ontario you can look forward to seeing a few more of your favourite Corrie stars next September.
Ian Puleston Davies, (Owen Armstrong) and Mikey North, (Gary Windass) will be in Canada for a “Men at Work” tour that will visit Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland from September 8-13. You can see them in Halifax, Corner Brook, Gander, Clarenville, and St. John’s.
Ontario fans can see Sue Cleaver, (Eileen Grimshaw) and Tony Hirst (Paul Kershaw) as they tour Hamilton, St. Catherines, Ottawa, Barrie, London, Oakville, Guelph, and Markham from September 21-28.
If you’re in British Columbia be on the watch for another Coronation Street tour in 2014. Speculation suggests that Tyrone, and Kirk might be headed back to Canada sometime next year.
Notes: For more information on upcoming shows including how to get tickets check out @StrollPro on Twitter, and Facebook.