It wasn’t very often that Stan Ogden was hailed a hero, but that’s exactly what happened way back in late 1970 when Stan broke into Minnie Caldwell’s house to confront the man who had been holding his daughter Irma in the flat above the shop...
The man in question was the American GI Joe Donelli, who had returned to Weatherfield two years after murdering Elsie Tanner’s husband Steve (over a gambling debt). Donelli was armed with a gun and, although he let Minnie go, Stan was forced to remain in the house and, bizarrely, sing the Christmas carol Silent Night...
During the song, the camera showed the viewer the scene from outside the house as a gun-shot was heard indoors. The audience presumably feared the worst for the Street’s most lovable work-shy oaf... but Donelli had turned the gun on himself, bringing the siege (of sorts) to a close and earning Stan a hero’s welcome and free drinks in the Rovers.
Coincidentally, after a very brief appearance in 1966, Bet Lynch started her long stint behind the bar on 2nd December 1970... the new barmaid having joined the regular cast in the same year that saw the real life passing of Arthur Leslie, which robbed the Rovers of its much loved landlord Jack Walker.
If you want to watch the episode in question, it can be found somewhere on YouTube and if you do take a peek, is there anything familiar about the man who plays Joe Donelli?
You won’t recognise his face, nor his name I would guess – it’s Shane Rimmer if it helps...
It doesn’t, does it..?
Told you so...
If you are of a certain vintage, shut your eyes and just listen to the voice. Can you place where you’ve heard it before? If you’re not sure, just Google the name, I’m sure the answer will surprise you...
All my own work... almost.