By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 6 If I may seek readers' indulgences for one slightly frivolous moment, for it is very rare that my twin interests/obsessions of politics and Coronation Street coincide.

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the first screening of the ITV soap, which is not only the world's longest running TV drama, but also stars (Tory-supporting) Bill Roache, who is now the holder of the world record for longest serving soap star, for his portrayal of Ken Barlow.

The Conservative MP for Altrincham and Sale West, Graham Brady, has tabled an early day motion celebrating this anniversary, noting that it is "the most accomplished, successful and critically-acclaimed drama serial on British television having sustained consistently high ratings and award-winning performances throughout its 50 years and is screened in more than 40 countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Morocco, Taiwan, South Africa, Estonia and Poland."

Here's to the next 50 years of a Great British export – and let's see some more signatures on EDM 1003 in time for the 50th anniversary on December 9th!