Christmas has always been a hectic time on Granada’s long-running soap Coronation Street.
Plot lines often come to a climax – and some characters make their exits while others arrive in the most unexpected circumstances.
This year promises to be no exception with Emma discovering her fiancé has been lying to her for months, Tyrone making a move on his estranged wife Fiz and barmaid Daisy doing her best to win over teacher Daniel.
Back in 1991, tensions were running high on Christmas Day when flamboyant factory owner Mike Baldwin, played by Johnny Briggs, plotted to win back Alma Sedgewick, portrayed by Ashton-under-Lyne actress Amana Barrie, from Ken Barlow.
The love triangle between Mike, Alma and Ken (William Roache) had been rumbling on for months. It ended dramatically when Mike surprised Alma with champagne in what is now Roy’s café and begged her for a second chance at romance.
Alma admitted she didn’t love Ken and she and Mike were reunited. They married in 1992, but the pair divorced seven years later when Alma discovered Mike had cheated on her.
Another couple who endured their fair share of festive woes were Jack and Vera Duckworth played by Ardwick actor Bill Tarmey and Liz Dawn.
Christmas 1998 looked very promising for the pair when they jetted off to Las Vegas to renew their wedding vows in a Yuletide special. Our photo shows them playing the one-armed bandits without a care in the world.
But it all went wrong back in Weatherfield on Christmas Day when new Rovers Return landlord Alec Gilroy (Roy Barraclough) tried to throw the hapless couple out of the pub and removed all their possessions – clothing included!
The Duckworths, always a great source of comedy and pathos on the Street, barricaded themselves in the upstairs bedroom and cried out for help. Fortunately their neighbours rallied round and delivered food and parcels via a ladder!
Perhaps the most poignant Christmas exit was that of much-loved character Hilda Ogden, played to perfection by Jean Alexander.
The long-suffering wife of perennially lazy Stan, portrayed by Bernard Youens, said her final goodbyes in the Rovers’ bar on Christmas Day 1987.
Hilda’s famous singing voice could shatter glass at 60 paces, but locals joined her in a rousing rendition of Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye before she left to become a housekeeper in Derbyshire.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house – or indeed among the 27 million viewers who watched the programme. It still remains the highest rated episode in Coronation Street’s history.
There were many happy times too as cast members enjoyed festive parties or left the Street altogether to appear in panto or switch on Christmas lights across the North West.
Back in 1964 the cast put on a memorable pantomime on a makeshift stage to entertain 45 children from the Wood Street Mission in Manchester. Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix) played Prince Charming while Lucille Hewitt (Jennifer Moss) was Cinderella.
Coronation Street met EastEnders in 1998 when Philip Middlemiss, who played bookies’ clerk Des Barnes, appeared as Buttons in the pantomime Cinderella along with Sophie Lawrence (Diane Butcher in the BBC soap) in the title role.
Lucy Jo-Hudson, who played Katy Harris in Coronation Street from 2002 to 2005, teamed up with comedian Johnny Vegas in the 2017 panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
After leaving the cobblestones, she went on to star as Rose Trevanion in Wild at Heart and Donna-Marie Quinn in Hollyoaks. In 2016, she won the British Soap Award for Villain of the Year for her portrayal of Rhiannon Davis in Doctors.
Hudson was married to Salford actor Alan Halsall who plays mechanic and garage owner Tyrone Dobbs.
It was a case of the wrong brother when Street actress Chloe Newsome turned on the Oxford Street Christmas lights in 1995 with Nick Cochrane who played Andy McDonald.
In the soap, Chloe portrayed Alec Gilroy’s ward Vicky McDonald. She was married not to Andy, but to his twin brother Steve played by Wythenshawe actor Simon Gregson.
Finally, the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital welcomed three of Coronation Street’s most dynamic characters to switch on the Christmas lights in 2015.
Mikey North, who plays maverick antique dealer Gary Windass, Paula Lane who was former cage dancer Kylie Platt and Ian Puleston-Davies, who portrayed passionate builder Owen Armstrong, all turned up to press the button in the hospital foyer.