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Coronation Street star turned MP Tracy Brabin leads tributes to soap in parliament

Coronation Street star turned MP Tracy Brabin leads tributes to soap in parliament
Former Coronation Street star Tracy Brabin leads an emotional tribute to the soap in parliament ahead of its 60th anniversary next week.

Former Coronation Street star Tracy Brabin led tributes to the soap in parliament on Wednesday ahead of its milestone 60th anniversary episodes next week.

The show first aired on December 9, 1960 and has been a firm staple of ITV's schedules ever since - holding world records as not only the longest-running TV soap ever but also for the world's longest-serving soap star in Bill Roache, who has appeared as Ken Barlow on the cobbles since episode one.

Brabin played the part of struggling single mother Tricia Armstrong on the soap between 1994 and 1997 but in recent years entered the world of politics, being elected to parliament as the Labour MP for Batley and Spen in 2016 following the tragic death of Jo Cox.

In an adjournment debate on Wednesday afternoon, Brabin talked up the soap's contribution to national life over the last six decades through its sometimes hard-hitting and conversation-starting storylines such as domestic violence, teen pregnancy, trans rights and male rape.

"During the last few months of pain and frustration," she said, "there have been many times when I am sure that many of us would have found familiarity and comfort in these words from the legendary Blanche, written by my good friend Damon Rochefort: 'In my day, summit bad 'appened you stayed home, got drunk and bit on a shoe.' I think that is quite a good metaphor for the times we live in.

"If there is one thing in our country that can cross political divides, it is our love of Coronation Street.

"I am incredibly proud to have been part of the show's history. I am one of thousands of actors, writers, producers, directors, costume makers and off-screen staff who have worked around the clock - trust me, I absolutely mean around the clock - to bring this programme to our screens year after year, decade after decade, never slipping in quality.

"Now I am proudly one of the millions of fans of Coronation Street who make the show so special, and I know that history is still there to be made, so here's to the next 60 years."

The debate lasted for more than an hour and somewhat unconventionally, featured speeches of tribute from Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans.

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