A look back at iconic Coronation Street storyline filmed in Blackpool and watched by millions

Memory Lane looks back at the scenes which saw soap villain Alan Bradley, played by the late Mark Eden, struck by a tram. It was during a seafront episode from one of the most remembered TV story lines ever...

By Claire Lark
Thursday, 7th January 2021, 3:45 pm
Actor Mark Eden as Alan Bradley in Blackpool
Actor Mark Eden as Alan Bradley in Blackpool

His character was a part of one of Coronation Street’s most watched storylines ever, filmed right here on Blackpool’s seafront.

Mark Eden, who died on New Year’s Day at the age of 92 with Alzheimer’s, played villain Alan Bradley, a character whose death was watched by millions back in 1989. It is still one of the most well remembered scenes ever to grace our screens.

More than 27 million Corrie fans tuned in to watch Bradley chase his wife, Corrie stalwart Rita Fairclough, to the seaside.

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Alan Bradleygets run over by a tram in Blackpool after chasing Rita Fairclough in the dramatic Coronation Street episode in 1989

But, after tracking her down to the resort’s Strand Hotel, on the Promenade, Rita fled from his grasp, straight across the tram tracks and into the path of a tram. And, although the Blackpool tram missed her, it hit and killed Alan, in a nail biting and grizzly death scene.

Speaking to The Gazette in 2010, when he visited Blackpool’s Waterstones book store for a book signing event, the actor said: “I think the tram company were a little bit worried about the storyline.

“The trams had an unblemished safety record and they were worried about someone getting knocked over and killed.

“But they thought the publicity would be far better than the chance of putting a stain on the character of their trams.

The scene that captured the audience and the one that everyone remembers

“When the scenes were filmed, there were hundreds of people watching, and it was terribly difficult.”

Mark played the character for four years and it was where he met his wife Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts. The storyline has a permanent reminder in the form of a plaque at the Strand Hotel were some of the scenes were filmed.

Mark Eden, aka Corrie's Alan Bradley, at his book signing in Blackpool Waterstones, 2010