Romantic Couples in Manchester

by | Feb 22, 2018 | Celebrity, Manchester

iNostalgia looks back at romantic couples in Manchester from Olivier and Leigh to squirrel monkeys Chico and Beano!

It can’t be a coincidence that the nation’s favourite love song – I’m Not In Love by 10cc – was written in Manchester.

Romance runs through every aspect of the city’s creative heritage – music, literature, stage and screen.

Just think of wonderful TV comedies like The Lovers starring Paula Wilcox and Richard Beckinsale, the touching companionship of Stan and Hilda Ogden on Coronation Street or the moving songs of M-People, Joy Division and Simply Red.

It’s a hard combination to resist.

Executives at Mercury Records were so bowled over by I’m Not In Love when they first heard it that they offered 10cc a five year deal on the spot!

And it has constantly topped polls for the most popular love song ever since.

Musician Eric Stewart wrote it because his wife said he didn’t tell her he loved her often enough. He wanted to find another way of saying ‘I love you’ without constantly repeating the words.

The result was the masterpiece that was first released in May 1975 and went to Number One in the UK charts for two weeks.

It was the Stockport band’s breakthrough hit worldwide, reaching Number One in Canada and Ireland and Number Two in the USA Billboard Hot 100.Very much in love in Manchester in September 1949 were one of the world’s most famous romantic couples – stage and screen idols Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.

Leigh was starring as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Opera House alongside her director-husband Olivier. It was the first European showing of the play.

Olivier was married when he first met Leigh and their romance had to be kept secret due to the strict morals of Hollywood at the time.

They were together as man and wife for 20 tempestuous years from 1940 to 1960.

Sir Lawrence Olivier and his wife Vivien Leigh

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh at Manchester’s Opera House, September 1949.

Manchester was the scene for a romantic reunion between two of the most glamorous stars of the 1960s and 70s – Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero.

Redgrave was in the city for the gala opening of her new play Daniel Deronda at Manchester University Theatre in January 1969.

Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero

Franco Nero flies into Manchester to surprise his partner Vanessa Redgrave, January 1969.

There were more smiles when ‘golden trumpeter’ Eddie Calvert announced his plans to marry local girl Celia Hart at All Saints Register Office in Manchester in March 1962.

Our picture shows the happy couple relaxing backstage at Manchester’s Opera House where Calvert was appearing on the Ken Dodd Show.

Eddie Calvert and Celia Hart

Trumpeter Eddie Calvert and his fiancé Celia Hart at Manchester’s Opera House, February 1962.

Packing her cases in November 1969 was Manchester model Susan Bradley. She was flying to Rome to marry Italian diplomat Bruno Cabras.

Manchester model Susan Bradley

Model Susan Bradley packs her bag to marry diplomat Bruno Cabras in Rome, November 1969.

Just back from their wedding in May 1968 were Coronation Street couple Dennis Tanner (Philip Lowrie) and his bride Jenny Sutton (Mitzi Rogers).

Welcoming them home were, from left, familiar cast members Annie Walker (Doris Speed), Ena Sharples (Violet Carson), Emily Nugent (Eileen Derbyshire), Valerie Barlow (Anne Reid), Ken Barlow (William Roache), Len Fairclough (Peter Adamson) and Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix).

Coronation Street cast members on set

Coronation Street’s Dennis Tanner (Philip Lowrie) with bride Jenny Sutton (Mitzi Rogers), May 1968.

The Street, produced at Granada studios, has had more than its fair share of romances over its 58 years – some have even become part of the nation’s viewing heritage.

The series has produced Stan and Hilda Ogden, Vera and Jack Duckworth and Bet and Alec Gilroy – to name only three.

No mention of Manchester couples could be complete without United star David Beckham and his Spice Girl partner Victoria Adams. The two were married at Luttrellstown Castle, Ireland, in July 1999.

Our photo shows the radiant couple sharing a romantic kiss outside their home two days before their wedding.Finally, a tale of true love!

David Beckham and Victoria Adams, pictured in a romantic kiss outside their home

David Beckham and Victoria Adams on the eve of their wedding, July 1999.

Chico the squirrel monkey was heartbroken when thieves stole his partner Beano from Ronnie Beale’s Manchester pet shop on Valentine’s Day. Chico was pining away, said Ronnie.

But then an anonymous caller told Ronnie that Beano had been left in a phone box – and within minutes the pair were reunited!

Our photo shows Chico and Beano happily back in each other’s arms, none the worse for their forced separation!

Monkeys Chico and Beano

Squirrel monkeys Chico and Beano reunited after Beano was stolen, March 1985.

iNostalgia has produced a special David Cassidy commemorative mug bearing the title of one of his greatest hits – I Think I Love You.

A donation will be made to Dementia UK for every mug sold. To order your mug, please check out the advert on page 5 or visit the iNostalgia website.