China recently finished construction on an extremely frightening glass walkway some 590 feet above Shiniuzhai National Geological Park, in China’s central Hunan Province. In Chinese, the bridge is known as Haohan Qiao, meaning “Brave Men’s Bridge” and for good reason.
Despite vertigo suffered by those traversing the see-through bridge, its builders are reassuring the public it is absolutely safe. Each glass pane is just under an inch thick and reportedly 25 times stronger than regular glass.
“The bridge we build will stand firm even if tourists are jumping on it,” said a construction worker who worked on the project in an interview with the state’s China News Service. “The steel frame used to support and encase the glass bridge is also very strong and densely built, so even if a glass is broke, travelers won’t fall through.”
Before Haohan Qiao was fitted with glass, it was a wooden bridge. The park experimented with fitting a portion of the bridge with glass in 2014 and was so happy with the results it decided to revamp the overpass.
Later this year, another glass bridge is set to open in Hunan Province above the pastoral Zhangjiaijie Grand Canyon area. This park is located some 186 miles northwest of Shiniuzhai and is famous for its pristine nature and incredible landscape.
Although Western travelers may not have heard of Zhangjiajie park, they may recognize it from James Cameron’s Avatar. The park’s unique quartz sandstone pillars jutting out of the clouds appear to be floating in the sky, which inspired the movie’s artists. Chinese officials were so pleased they renamed one of the iconic quartz sandstone spires Avatar Hallelujah Mountain in honor of the movie.
The natural quart sandstone pillars are so unique that the park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Zhangjiajie bridge will be over 1,400 feet long and almost 1,000 feet high.
For over half a century, Coronation Street has been one of the most popular soap operas on British TV. So many great characters have passed through the iconic street. This begs the question: where are some of your favorite characters nowadays?
Wendi Peters – Cilla Battersby-Brown
They say that behind every great man there is a great woman. As far as Cilla Battersby-Brown is concerned, this couldn’t have been truer. However, it seems that in this scenario, the woman became so much greater than the man. After Les Battersby ended up cheating on wife Cilla, Wendi Peters’ used her ailing health as a form of revenge. Despite this, it was clear that Cilla was the perfect foil for Les, before packing her bags and leaving Weatherfield for Las Vegas.
Wendi Peters – Now
After leaving Corrie in 2007, Wendi Peters did make a brief return to the soap opera seven years later. In between her stints on the show, Peters did make an appearance on Celebrity Masterchef and also starred in numerous productions on stage. These included roles in shows such as The Game, April in Paris and Mrs. Whippy, to name a few. Since leaving Weatherfield for good, Peters had roles in shows such as Hetty Feather and also made an appearance on Flockstars.
Denise Black – Denise Osbourne
First appearing in 1992, Denis Black ended up in many relationships on the show. However, it was her time with Ken Barlow that most people will remember, especially after she became pregnant with his baby. Although she chose to keep the baby, Denise suffered a miscarriage. Nevertheless, the doctors informed her that she was actually carrying twins. As a result, she ended up having a little boy, Daniel. The Chorley Citizen referred to Denise as “Ken’s bit on the side.”
Denise Black – Now
Like many performers who have starred in soap operas, Denise Black has overlapped into other British soaps such as Emmerdale, which she had a notable role as Joanie Wright. She had two stints on the show, with the first time occurring in 2013 and the second running from 2015 to 2017. However, it is Black’s personal life that is really keeping her busy. The actress resides in Brighton with her family and also sings in a band called The Loose Screw.
Angela Griffin – Fiona Middleton
Angela Griffin made history when she became the first major black character in Coronation Street since Shirley Armitage, who was played by Lisa Lewis. She played the role of Fiona Middleton, starting in 1992, a hairdresser who got into an affair with Jim McDonald, which was eventually revealed at her wedding to Alan McKenna. Not only did Alan leave the altar, but he also was concerned with who the father was to Fiona’s baby. She left the street in 1998.
Angela Griffin – Now
Although Coronation Street was her first major role on TV, this has not stopped Angela Griffin from finding work elsewhere, since her departure in 1998. Other notable shows that the actress has been a part of include Waterloo Road, Hustle and Ordinary Lies, to name a few. Griffin has also hosted numerous shows, presenting Emergency with Angela Griffin, as well as co-presenting Fat Pets: Slimmer of the Year. Angela Griffin has been happily married to Jason Milligan since 2006.
Eileen Derbyshire – Emily Bishop
Making her debut as Emily Bishop in 1961, just a year after the soap opera began, Eileen Derbyshire starred in Coronation Street for a staggering 55 years, officially making her the longest-standing female character in the show’s history. Although her role evolved over the course of her long run, Emily always added a touch of class to the show even at its darkest hours. Derbyshire finally retired from the role in 2016, but what is she doing now with her life?
Eileen Derbyshire – Now
Although fans were incredibly sad to see Emily Bishop leave Coronation Street after 55 years, Eileen Derbyshire is happy to be moving on so that she can pursue some of her deepest passions. One of her claims to fame outside of Corrie is the fact that her son Oliver Holt is a well-established sports journalist, who has been a regular panelist for the Sunday Supplement. In 2010, Derbyshire was appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire.
Sarah Lancashire – Raquel Watts
Sarah Lancashire’s time in Weatherfield started way back in the early 90s when she portrayed the character, Raquel Watts. Although she wasn’t one of the longest-running characters on Coronation Street, Raquel was certainly one of the most memorable for her ability to draw the fine line between the glamorous and the mundane. After a turbulent relationship with Curly, Raquel moves to Kuala Lumpur, before coming back to Weatherfield for a brief period at the turn of the Millennium.
Sarah Lancashire – Now
So much success has come Sarah Lancashire’s way since leaving Coronation Street for good in 2000. It was during this time that Lancashire became the highest paid TV actress in the UK, after signing a two-year golden handcuff contract with ITV. This was also in light of her performances in shows such as Where the Heart Is and Clocking Off. Since then, Lancashire has starred in iconic shows such as Doctor Who, Skins, Wuthering Heights and Last Tango in Halifax, to name a few.
Helen Worth – Gail Platt
Gail Platt is another fine example of a female character who has gone through so much trouble, only to bounce back on every single occasion. Making her debut on Coronation Street back in 1974, Helen Worth has portrayed the character ever since and continues to do so to this very day. Her 44 years on the show officially make her the fourth longest serving character on the soap opera. Gail is the bridge between generations, being the daughter of Audrey and also a proud mother/grandmother.
Helen Worth – Now
Although Coronation Street is the cornerstone of Helen Worth’s career, many don’t realize that she was also involved with Doctor Who before landing her role as Gail. Since becoming more used to balancing her work life and personal life, Worth has been able to put a lot of time and energy into charitable endeavors. She is a regular supporter of ActionAid. In 2014, Worth was a given a huge honor when she won the “Outstanding Achievement Award” at The British Soap Awards.
Julie Hesondhalgh – Hayley Cropper
What made Julie Hesondahalgh’s character Hayley so compelling was the fact that she was the first regular transgender character in the history of soap operas. It was a groundbreaking creative decision, but one that ultimately paid off. Hayley Cropper was praised by critics and Hesondhalgh received numerous awards for her performances. Her character also turned heads when she took her own life, after suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. It was considered by many to be one of the most tragic departures in Coronation Street‘s history.
Julie Hesondalgh – Now
Although Hayley Cropper faced one of the most tragic endings in the history of Coronation Street, Julie Hesondhalgh’s life has gone in a very different direction, since leaving the show in 2014. Some of the shows she has been involved in include Cucumber, Happy Valley and Broadchurch, to name a few. Hesondalgh has also had a fruitful career in theater since leaving Corrie, starring in a string of successful plays such as 2014’s God Bless the Child and 2016’s Wilt.
Johnny Briggs – Mike Baldwin
For 30 years, Johnny Briggs was a permanent fixture on Coronation Street, playing Mike Baldwin, the ruthless boss of the denim-making company Baldwin’s Casuals. There were many occasions when Baldwin would sack his staff members without sympathy. Mike’s time in Weatherfield came to a tragic end when he had a heart attack next to his factory and died in the arms of the man who he had been in a love-hate relationship with over the years, Ken Barlow.
Johnny Briggs – Now
After leaving Coronation Street in 2006, Johnny Briggs received an award at the British Soap Awards that same year for his three decades of contribution to the successful soap opera. It seems that before he landed the role of Mike Baldwin, Briggs had a pretty colorful resume, starring in productions of Hue and Cry, Oliver Twist and Helter Skelter. However, the actor hasn’t starred in much since retiring from Corrie. However, he has made appearances in shows such as Agatha Christie’s Marple and Holby City.
Samia Longchambon – Maria Connor
First appearing in Coronation Street at the turn of the Millenium, Maria Connor will probably be best remembered for her unexpected relationship with fan favorite Tyrone. Although the odd couple didn’t stand the test of time, it seems like Samia Longchambon’s role as Maria has. She has played the character for nearly two decades. Despite taking maternity leave for two brief periods, Maria is still going strong and is regarded as one of the most compelling characters in Corrie.
Samia Longchambon – Now
To this day, Samia Longchambon is very much still an integral part of Coronation Street. However, this hasn’t stopped her from having success elsewhere. In 2013, Samia competed in Dancing On Ice‘s eighth series and despite suffering an injury early on in the competition, she managed to make it until Week Eight. In 2014, Samia made an appearance in the game show The Chase: Celebrity Special. Samia married Sylvain Longchambon, her Dancing On Ice partner, in 2016. The couple had a son together.
Ryan Thomas – Jason Grimshaw
The son of Eileen and Tony, Jason Grimshaw was one of the most popular characters of the young generation who made their way into Coronation Street in 2000. Without a doubt, Jason has been one of the main young hunks of the show, having had many relationships with characters such as Sarah Platt, Rosie Webster, and Violet Wilson.
Ryan Thomas – Now
Unfortunately, things haven’t been so peachy for Ryan Thomas since his departure from Weatherfield. A couple of years before leaving the show, the actor filed for bankruptcy and in 2016, he was arrested after being drunk and disorderly at a nightclub. Similar to former co-star Michelle Keegan, Thomas ended up in a relationship with a star from The Only Way is Essex. While taking part on Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, Thomas met Lucy Mecklenburgh and the couple have been inseparable ever since.
John Savident – Fred Elliott
One of the most happy-go-lucky characters in Coronation Street, Fred Elliott was the Mr. Dependable that the people of Weatherfield went to buy their meat from. He was the local butcher for over a decade, before eventually becoming the landlord of the Rovers Return, the local pub. Renowned for his larger than life personality, John Savident decided to walk away from the show in 2006 as he was simply getting tired of starring in five episodes per week.
John Savident – Now
Since leaving Weatherfield in 2006, John Savident has managed to keep himself very busy, starring in numerous pantomimes such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He also starred as Sir Joseph Porter in the operetta HMS Pinafore, which he discussed on the daytime chat show Loose Women. Other notable TV shows that Savident has made appearances in recent times include the Christmas special of Holby City. He also voiced one of the Daleks in a recent audio-drama of Doctor Who.
Alan Halsall as Tyrone Dobbs
The son of Darren and Jackie Dobbs, Tyrone seems to have been a young boy for the last two decades! It’s virtually impossible not to like Coronation Street‘s favorite boy. Alan Halsall has played the role of Tyrone since 1998 and has been caught up in relationships with likes of Fiz, Maria, and Molly. He ended up becoming the father figure for Fiz’s daughter, Hope. In 2013, Halsall won the award for Best Dramatic Male Performance at the NTA Awards.
Alan Halsall – Now
Since making a name for himself as Tyrone on Coronation Street, Alan Halsall has remained an integral character right up to this very day. Amazingly, the actor is married to Lucy-Jo Hudson, who he worked with on Coronation Street a while ago. She played Katy Harris. Since they started dating in 2005, the couple has tied the knot and had a daughter. However, in 2016 they announced that they were splitting up and were in the process of divorcing in 2018.
Brian Capron as Richard Hillman
At the turn of the millennium, Coronation Street saw a villain the likes of which they had never seen before. Brian Capron played the nefarious Richard Hillman, a man who was once romantically involved with Gail Platt and ended up inadvertently killing Maxine Peacock. Richard Hillman has been rated as one of the best soap villains. When he met his on-screen demise in 2003, Brian Capron’s character became the 100th character on Coronation Street to die.
Brian Capron – Now
Although his time on Coronation Street was fairly brief, Brian Capron certainly made a huge impact on the show as a truly unforgettable villain. However, the talented actor has since moved on and starred in a number of other successful shows. These include the likes of Midsomer Murders, Doctors, and Staff Room, to name a few. One of Capron’s most notable movie roles since his time on Corrie came to an end was in the critically acclaimed independent drama Ambleton Delight.
Julie Goodyear – Bet Lynch
Similar to other characters on the show, Julie Goodyear has reprised her role as the consistently flamboyant Bet Lynch. Best remembered for her leopard print apparel and bizarre hairstyles, Bet was, without a doubt, one of the most popular characters on the show, ever since making her debut in 1966. She was a regular on Coronation Street for 25 years before walking away from the soap opera in 1995. Julie Goodyear’s last official appearance as Bet came in November 2003.
Julie Goodyear – Now
Ever since her main run as Bet came to an end in the mid-90s, Julie Goodyear became one of the most prominent faces of Shredded Wheat. Since the advent of reality TV, Goodyear has been in a handful of some of the most popular shows of the genre, including Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes and Celebrity Big Brother, to name a few. After much demand from the fans, Goodyear confirmed that she would never return to Coronation Street.
Kate Ford – Tracy Barlow
One of the most berated characters in the show’s history, Tracy Barlow is the type of antagonist that Coronation Street had been lacking for a very long time. A manipulative character, Tracy has played many beloved characters against one another and is still causing trouble to this very day. Although the character has been in Coronation Street on and off since 1977, it was Kate Ford who took the character’s villainous arc to the next level since joining the cast in 2002.
Kate Ford – Now
It should come as no surprise that Coronation Street‘s most memorable villain in recent memory has been hailed for her antagonistic ways. Kate Ford has won numerous awards for her performances as Tracy Barlow. It also seems that Ford’s personal life has been as eventful as her fictional counterpart. Although Ford married Jon Connerty in 2007 and had a child a year later, the couple separated in 2013. The actress described Coronation Street as the thing that helped her move on the most.
Sally Dynevor – Sally Webster
Another character to have maintained a role on Coronation Street for an incredibly long period of time is the seemingly ever present Sally Webster. After consistently starring in the show for a staggering 32 years, Sally is officially the ninth longest running character in the soap opera. One of Sally’s biggest storylines revolved around her on and off relationship with Kevin Webster. In fact, it was an awkward first encounter with her future husband that gave us our first glimpse of Sally back in 1986.
Sally Dynevor – Now
As she is still portraying the role of Sally Webster, it seems like Sally Devynor’s role in Coronation Street is still taking up the majority of her time. Despite already being on the soap opera for more than 30 years, Sally doesn’t look like throwing in the towel anytime soon. In recent times, the actress has received considerable acclaim for her role on Corrie, winning the 2015 British Soap Award for Best Comedy Performance, as well as the Soap Award for Best On-Screen Partnership.
Bruno Langley – Todd Grimshaw
Bruno Langley’s character Todd was another that created TV history. Jason Grimshaw’s brother eventually came out, becoming the first ever regular gay character in the soap opera. Fans welcomed the creative decision, believing that it was a step in the right direction to present a more accurate depiction of 21st Century society. Langley reprised his role as Todd on not one, not two, but on three separate occasions. He finally left the show for good in December 2017.
Bruno Langley – Now
Although his time on Corrie has been on and off in recent times, Bruno Langley has managed to have a fruitful career in theater, starring in shows such as Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty and The Mouse Trap, to name a few. After having a son with Victoria Roscoe, Langley ended his relationship with her in 2013. Unfortunately, Langley’s time on Coronation Street came to an abrupt end in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to charges of gross misconduct.
William Roache – Ken Barlow
Officially the longest serving character in the history of Coronation Street, William Roache’s Ken Barlow was in the very first episode of the soap opera back in 1960! In fact, Roache’s achievement also officially made him the longest-serving actor in a televised soap opera. He broke the record in 2010, a record that was originally held by Don Hastings, who was in the American soap opera As the World Turns. The most amazing part is that Roache has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
William Roache – Now
Amazingly, William Roache is still portraying his most famous role – Ken Barlow. Although Coronation Street has dominated much of Roache’s life, there have been numerous incidents that have marred the actor’s reputation. With a variety of entanglements with the law, being charged with counts of indecent conduct that could be traced back to his childhood, Roache has had to face some very old demons in recent times. Despite the legal issues getting in the way, Roache is still a series regular.
Helen Flanagan – Rosie Webster
Although the character of Rosie Webster has been in Coronation Street since 1990, it was Helen Flanagan who took on the role at the turn of the Millenium. It wouldn’t take long before Rosie’s confidence grew and she became one of the most charismatic female characters in the soap opera. The first-born of Kevin and Sally Webster, Rosie took a step back from the show when the actress who played her, Helen Flanagan, began starring in a reality TV show.
Helen Flanagan – Now
When off the set of Coronation Street, Helen Flanagan spends a lot of time posing for numerous photo shoots and starring in a variety of reality TV shows. These include the likes of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Wedding Planner and Virtually Famous, to name a few. In 2009, Flanagan started dated professional soccer player Scott Sinclair. The couple have been together now for nearly a decade and in 2015, they welcomed their daughter Matilda Jessica into the world.
Alison King – Carla Connor
Originally starring in shows such as Dream Team, Alison King moved up a gear in her acting career when she landed the role of Carla Connor. Often referred to as “the new Elsie Tanner,” this is because Carla is portrayed as a tough female character and more antagonistic than other ladies on the show. However, Carla has since become a much more sympathetic character, getting in a string of relationships and enduring a series of dire situations.
Alison King – Now
Considered as one of the most beloved female actresses on British TV, Alison King’s career stretches far beyond the famous soap opera. Since joining the cast in Weatherfield, the actress has landed roles in other shows such as Help, Mile High, and most recently, Sick Note. Since 2016, King has been in a relationship with Paul Slavin, who happens to be the assistant director of fellow British soap opera Hollyoaks. “It’s very early days…but I’m happy,” she said about the relationship.
Bruce Jones – Les Battersby
Les Battersby is another classic example of a character who left a huge impression on Coronation Street, despite not lasting on the show too long. Bruce Jones played the outspoken character who had a huge love for the band Status Quo. The creators aimed to bring in a family who could add a bit of toughness to a show that until then, was laden with well-spoken, fairly diplomatic characters. The Battersby family were anything but, and fans loved them for it.
Bruce Jones – Now
Despite leaving the soap opera back in 2007, Bruce Jones hasn’t starred in much since. His reputation has been marred by consistent issues with alcohol. He has been arrested on numerous occasions for DUI. Jones revealed that he hasn’t been involved in much since his time on Corrie after spending most of his money and getting into some serious financial issues. Jones recently appeared on a documentary about celebrities who depend on financial welfare to make ends meet.
Michelle Keegan – Tina McIntyre
Although her time in Coronation Street was fairly short compared to many other classic characters, Tina McIntyre became a fan favorite overnight. With a string of dramatic relationships and many emotional storylines, Michelle Keegan gave a stunning portrayal as Tina.
Michelle Keegan – Now
In all honesty, Coronation Street was just the beginning for Michelle Keegan. Since leaving the show in 2016, the young actress was cast in the lead role in the BBC drama Our Girl, which she is still involved with to this very day. In 2017, Keegan ended up playing another “Tina,” this time as Tina Moore, the wife of former England captain Bobby Moore. Keegan personal life is also fairly eventful, having married The Only Way is Essex star, Mark Wright, in 2015.
Tracy Shaw – Maxine Peacock
For eight years, Maxine Peacock was one of the most interesting female characters on Coronation Street, between the years of 1995 and 2003. After a series of short-lived flings and one night stands, Maxine decides to seek some stability, getting into a relationship with the softly spoken Ashley. Although he is good to her, Maxine ends up in an affair with another man, giving birth to son Joshua. After her untimely passing on the show, Ashley took Joshua and raised him as his own.
Tracy Shaw – Now
Although many fans were sad to see the demise of Maxine Peacock, this hasn’t stopped Tracy Shaw from having other work opportunities. Not only did she appear on other shows on ITV, Shaw also starred in the stage play The Blue Room. She also spent a brief amount of time as a pop star, releasing singles such as “Happenin’ All Over Again,” which was originally a song by Lonnie Gordon, and her own original single, “Ridin’ High.”
Charles Lawson – Jim McDonald
For the good part of 25 years, Charles Lawson didn’t know whether he was coming or going as the popular character Jim McDonald. Lawson reprised the role as Liz’s husband not once, not twice but on three separate occasions. It seemed like the fans just couldn’t get enough of the “Irish Stallion.” Apparently, though, the reason that Lawson was in and out of the show so much is that he was convinced that the writers couldn’t find compelling-enough stories for him.
Charles Lawson – Now
Although fans will remember Charles Lawson the most for his role as Jim McDonald, he has maintained his reputation as a talented actor in a series of other projects. His most recent role came in 2016 when he starred as Doctor Black in the BBC drama My Mother and Strangers. Outside of acting, Lawson has embraced some of his biggest passions; most notably, his family and his love for agriculture. He opened up a farm shop in Cheshire with his partner Debbie Stanley.
Steven Arnold – Ashley Peacock
What made Ashley Peacock such a beloved character was the fact that he looks like a typical run-of-the-mill guy, but happens to be one of the most softly spoken people you’ll ever meet. Caught up in a variety of storylines, including the time that he found out that his uncle Fred was actually his father, Ashley always seemed to be front and center during his 15 years in Coronation Street. Ashley was another classic character who had a tragic death, dying in a tram crash.
Steven Arnold – Now
Steven Arnold has shown no signs of slowing down since his time on Coronation Street came to an end in 2010. The actor has had success in movies, TV shows, and theater productions. He has starred in pantomimes such as Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz. Arnold has also been heavily involved in a number of charities such as Phoebe Research Fund, Victoria’s Wish and The Shannon Bradshaw Trust. He recently starred in the 2017 movie The Blazing Cannons.
Tina O’Brien – Sarah Platt
One of the strongest female characters on Coronation Street in the last couple of decades, Sarah Platt’s world got turned upside down when she shocked the fans with her groundbreaking underage pregnancy. After a string of relationships, a heated sibling rivalry with half-brother David and raising a child as a teenager, Sarah is still a regular on the soap opera, nearly two decades after Tina O’Brien made her debut in the role. Despite taking a break, she reprised her role in 2015.
Tina O’Brien – Now
Coronation Street isn’t the only popular British show that Tina O’Brien has had a memorable role in recent times. For two years, the actress starred in the beloved BBC school drama Waterloo Road. It seemed like life imitated art when she ended up in a relationship with on-screen ex Ryan Thomas. The couple had a daughter called Scarlett Jacqueline. In 2014, O’Brien had her second child with current partner Adam Crofts. The actress also works for the charity Animals in Distress Sanctuary.