Pete Price has watched every episode of Coronation Street, having caught the very first one back in 1960. “It was a dull, black and white street and, to this day, I don’t know why I got hooked,” says the 74-year-old Liverpudlian with a laugh. “But my whole family kept tuning in. Next thing you know, it’s a phenomenon. Now it feels like the characters live with me. I can’t imagine life without it.”
Despite the massive growth of streaming services – Netflix plans to spend more than $17bn (£13bn) on new content this year – a sizable British audience still tunes in to watch soaps on network TV. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and its 10,000th episode earlier this month, Coronation Street regularly tops the ratings with more than 6 million viewers per show. And EastEnders hits 35 on Wednesday, with rumours of a dead body for its 4.5 million viewers. What keeps these fans hooked?
Read the feature in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 18/02/20]