This year the awards will be part of a gala celebrating 50 years of entertainment television, and in commemoration of the anniversary, the Rose d’Or International Advisory Board and the Festival Committee have created the Rose d’Or Golden Jubilee Award, to honour a programme and a personality for their outstanding contribution to entertainment television. It was unanimously agreed that the programme award should go to Coronation Street.
Coronation Street is a worthy winner of the Golden Jubilee Award, according to Festival Director Rolf Probala. “Over its entire run, the series has shown originality, creativity and innovation, all the qualities which are the foundation of our awards.” He continued: “A further testimony is that the programme, fifty years after its first transmission, is as popular as ever and is still a huge ratings hit in the UK. Furthermore, Coronation Street is regarded as the gold standard by other similar programmes outside Britain.”
Coronation Street is truly a British institution and is also watched from New Zealand to Canada. The story of everyday lives of ordinary folk, on an ordinary street, in a northern town called Weatherfield, changed television history forever. From this month, with the end of As The World Turns in the US, it also becomes the longest currently-running scripted television programme in the world. Lindenstrasse, the successful German programme which celebrates its own 25th anniversary this year on ARD’s Das Erste, was inspired by Coronation Street, and its creator and producer Hans Geissendorfer will present the Honorary Rose to Simon Gregson and Katherine Kelly, who play Steve and Becky McDonald, and Executive Producer Kieran Roberts.
ITV has announced that the special events and programmes around Coronation Street’s anniversary will include a live episode. The first episode was also transmitted live, on Friday 9 December 1960. Coronation Street was created by Tony Warren, who originally called it Florizel Street. Granada Television initially made just thirteen shows, but the viewers’ response meant that, over 7,400 episodes later, it is still a mainstay of the ITV network’s schedule.
Coronation Street has managed to remain current and relevant to modern day society. Renowned for the quality of its writing and acting, it moves between high comedy and heart-breaking tragedy with unequalled skill. Even rival broadcaster BBC will be screening a drama based on its early days in honour of its birthday, such is its standing. After 50 years, 88 weddings, 39 births, 114 deaths and 51 barmaids at the Rovers Return, the Street’s pub, Coronation Street is indeed a worthy winner of this very special Golden Jubilee Award.
Since 1985, the festival has awarded Honorary Roses to recipients including Benny Hill, Jean-Christophe Averty, Quincy Jones, Monty Python, the BBC, CBC, Tiger Aspect, the EBU, Rudi Carrell, Emil Steinberger, French & Saunders, Ricky Gervais and, last year, George Anthony and Sheena McDonald.