I wrote recently that I prefer TV series that have very limited runs and avoid those that go on and on. So I was startled to read that the British soap opera Coronation Street had, for the first time, added a black family to the residents of the street. What shocked me was not that it took so long to add this element of diversity but that the show was still on. I recall as a young boy in England seeing an episode or two. It was not to my liking and the only thing I remember is that there was a tough-looking, sharp-tongued, woman named Ena Sharples who always had a hairnet on her head. Apparently the show has been showing three times a week on prime time for nearly sixty years which is an incredibly long run even by soap-opera standards.
This shows great loyalty on the part of the British public. I recall an interview that either P. G. Wodehouse or George Bernard Shaw (I forget whom) gave in which he was asked the secret of his success and longevity as a public favorite. He replied that with the British public you just have to hang in there and keep producing new material. After a while you become seen as an ‘institution’ and the public sticks with you forever after that even if the quality of your work declines. He was being modest because his output was usually of high quality but there is a germ of truth there. The British public can be very loyal to their veteran artists and performers and their vintage shows like Coronation Street and Dr. Who, and are loathe to see them end.