Coronation Street and the Concerto

ITV Coronation Street 8.30 p.m. Monday 11th November 2013 (8.65m viewers)

Deep Purple Coronation Street
As mentioned on this site recently the original 1969 Deep Purple Concerto For Group & Orchestra made a rather surprising appearance during an episode of the `Street` on the 11th November.
Roy Cropper (played by actor David Neilson) and his wife (Julie Hesmondhalgh) were having a discussion about the music that they each liked but that the other did not. The idea was they would try and win over each other by playing something they liked and explaining why.
Roy had chosen the `Concerto` and in a calm but passionate way he explained what the Concerto event was about. He remembered watching it on TV as a teenager and that he could not turn it off, describes seeing the orchestra and a “man in a pink shirt” at a drum kit in the middle of it all. He then recalls how the orchestra stopped and the “unruly band picks up the baton and runs with it”. It’s difficult to think of a more apt description of Purple at that time. He explains that both parties were “two species bound together by sound” and adds “It should not work, but it does”.
Sadly his wife Hayley is unimpressed, and as the drums pound away in the background she asks, “How long is this?”. Clearly she was not won over and, given her choice of music was Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love it is no surprise. But it was clear from the scene that Roy’s character had fond memories of an event that all Purple fans have equally cherished over the years, and we thought there had to be more to it that some script writer picking the album at random.
As the appearance of Purple on UK TV in any context is still quite rare we contacted ITV to ask them – why the Concerto?
Debbie Oates wrote this particular episode and told us that: “The true answer is that I asked both Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson what piece of music they thought their character might secretly like that would be totally alien to the other.   So that was David’s suggestion for Roy.   I watched some of the performance (of the Concerto) on the internet, and – as I wrote in his speech – it was the unexpectedness and clash of cultures of this rock band in the midst of the suited and booted orchestra that I thought would have appealed to Roy.” 
So thanks to actor David’s suggestion, Jon’s Concerto gets a very welcome appearance on the world famous Street. The script does a wonderful job of encapsulating the unique event that was the Concerto.
We understand that Jon Lord had always fancied guesting on the Street, so in a small way his wish has been fulfilled.

Stephen Clare. Thanks to Helen Nugent, Debbie Oates and of course David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh. Photos copyright ITV used with permission. Thanks to ITV for donating a copy of the episode to the archives.
(PS Classic Rock magazine; if you are going to swipe this story for your FB site, the least you could do is give us a link back?)

Our original news story link.

As this story will doubtless lead to zillions of ITV viewers wanting to buy the CD for themselves we should point out the the 1969 recording is still in stock at the DTB Online store!

2 Responses to “Coronation Street and the Concerto”

  1. Mike Says:

    Bet Jon (would’ve) loved that. Shame they didn’t play Ritchie’s solo in the first movement, one of my all time faves. Are Deep Purple always on? I might start to watch it!

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