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Karen’s Revenge! - “Closer” - 13th March 2004

Coronation Street’s Karen McDonald may have been left reeling by Tracy Barlow’s demolition job on her wedding to Steve — but we all know that she never stays on the ropes long.

An explosive revenge is inevitable — and ‘Closer’ went behind the scenes to watch it happen.

This time, Tracy’s big day is ruined when Karen storms into Amy’s christening for a punch- up. “It’s great fun!” says Kate Ford, 27, who plays Tracy. Both she and Suranne Jones, 25, who plays Karen, relished the filming on location at St Mary’s Church in Prestwich.

Most of the action centres around the pair; who are good friends on and off set, so other cast members hang around the freezing church until they are required to gasp in horror.

The fight scene is meticulously planned by Corrie co-ordinator Renny Krupinksi.

Kate looks apprehensive as Renny puts Suranne through her paces practicing her left hook and hair-pulling.

He places a crash mat on the floor behind Kate — she’s grateful as several takes are needed to film her sprawling at the altar!

Clever camera angles make it look as if Suranne whacks Kate in the eye, when in fact her fist obscures the final seconds of the punch and she doesn’t actually make contact.

Sharp-tongued Karen spits out some classics during the day. When the vicar says they are in God’s house, she screams: “You need to sort your door policy out, ‘coz she’s from the dark side, I’m tellin’ ya!”

Suranne and Kate end the ten-hour day on a high — but it’s not the same for all the cast. “Being on location usually involves two days of tedium, sitting around and getting cold and uncomfortable, and this was no different;’ says Bill Roache, who plays Ken Barlow.

“Still, as a veteran of fights with Mike Baldwin, it’s nice not to be on the receiving end of a fist!” he adds.

Deidre Rachid (Anne Kirkbride):
“This outfit may look nice and at least it’s warm, but it’s a nightmare wearing a hat all day long. I’m going to take it off and have a good scratch of my head when Nobody’s looking!”

Liz McDonald (Beverly Callard)
“When Simon (Gregson) saw my earrings, he said: ‘Were they free with J17?’ The pink velvet shoes are hideous too. Liz also wears the same jacket she wore to Simon’s wedding. The funniest moment was when my stomach rumbled just as Karen made her big entrance and we had to stop filming because we were in hysterics.”

Fight co-ordinator Renny Krupinski:
Renny has arranged every Corrie scrap and brawl for the past two and a half years, including the killing of Maxine Peacock and the bloody fight between Dev and Joe Carter.

“This one is basically a cat fight with lots of hair-pulling. Then Karen lands a punch right on Tracy and she goes sprawling on the floor in front of the altar,” he explains.

“The actors have to believe what they’re doing,” says Renny. “Kate has to really feel as if she’s about to be lamped and Suranne should feel she can throw a proper punch in the confidence it won’t actually hit Kate. So we worked out exactly where they both needed to stand for it to work and still look realistic.”


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