It was a rainly night in Halifax, Nova Scotia but at the Westin Hotel Commonwealth Room, there was a bum on every single seat in the house. Jimmi Harkishin aka Dev Alahan on Coronation Street was in town and they were all there to see him. I was unable to be there but I sent my lieutenant Denise to report back about the night and provide a few photos. With her help, here's how the evening went:
Jimmi had arrived on Sunday and did some touring around our fair city. He visited a few museums, traveled across the harbour to Dartmouth on the ferry for dinner at the Wooden Monkey. Recognized by the ferry Captain, Jimmi was permitted to "steer" and was given the honorary post of "Ship's Captain". He was also inducted into the "Order of Good Cheer". Sounds like a lot of fun and Jimmi certainly said how much he enjoyed his time here and hanging out with us Canadians.
On Tuesday night, the Commonwealth room at the Westin looked great decorated with various street terrace houses, store fronts and the Rovers itself. A large screen was set up to play various scenes featuring the star; Jimmi Harkishin who plays street romeo Dev Alahan! Let's see, Dev has romanced: Amy, Geena, Dierdre, Sunita, Natalie, Tracey and Mad Maya.
Dawn Sloane performed the moderator duties and even produced a short movie and skit that was played out later with audience participation. Tom and Amy from CBC opened the show once again and introduced a pop quiz.
Then Jimmi arrived onstage in formal attire, handsome in a dark suit complete with tie and waistcoat. Given the intensity of the lights, and how nervous he was, after the break, that outfit was ditched for a plaid shirt and jeans.
The first half of the show was an informal chat between Dawn and Jimmi. There was some reminiscing about "Dev's" time on Coronation street. Since 1999 when Dev first appeared, all his woman have been, and I quote Jimmi, "Every woman I meet is a homicidal maniac"!
He was born in Versailles, outside of Paris and he is a middle child with an older and younger brother. One is a social worker and one is a systems analyst. Jimmi always wanted to be an actor, however, his parents wanted him to get a "real" job, like a doctor or shop keeper. After 7 years on Corrie, his Dad saw him in a scene in the corner shop and commented he always knew Jimmi would end up in a corner shop! After graduation Jimmi, spent 5 years in theatre and plays the clarinette and saxophone but we were not treated to any solos tonight.
His comments related to Corrie:
- What do you think of Peter and Tina? He thinks it should be Peter and Dev!
- Will Dev find love or remarry ? - Jimmi sings "all by myself" with some cheek. Maybe Dev and Mary ?
- His favorite love? Ken of course, with a nice imitation of Deidre's voice.
- Dev is a bruised romantic in Jimmi's estimation and is unlikely to feel "rosy" happy, because it's a soap.
A short video entitled "Short Snappers" was played where Jimmi had to select his preference.
Bistro or Rovers? Well Rovers.
Most conniving? Todd
Baddest Boy? Rob
Rekindled romance? Deirdre
Most likely to cause trouble? Lloyd
Who would you like to see come back? Fred Elliot I second that, I say I second that!
What advice would you give Liz about Tony? Don't do it! (I think we can all agree on that!)
After the break it was time for a raffle. The Downeast Streeters traditionally offers a raffle for breakfast for two with the star, providing the star agrees. They always have done. This year's winner was our own fearless volunteer Darlene who won breakfast with our star. Congratulations Darlene!! Darlene has volunteered at all the events and has contributed to many pings over the years as well.
Second Half of the show after the raffle included questions from the audience. Jimmi was very engaging speaking to the question authors and many times roamed among the audience. He even sang happy birthday and performed a wonderful on stage script written by Dawn. A lucky lady from the audience was selected to be the "lady in the bar". Jimmi walks in and decides she is the one he must "have". Funny stuff and all enjoyed.
A brief sample of audience questions:
Jimmi's Favorite stories - The gentle ones like the "gym one".
Who do you want your next love interest to be? - Michelle Keegan (Tina, but he was kidding), really...Sally or Leanne.
Which Corrie actor is least like a character - Dev is nothing like Norris!
Is it real alcohol at the Rovers ? - Nope, Dev's scotch is apple juice.
Family? - Jimmi has 4 children ranging in age from 27 to 17.
Before we knew it our time was up. Standing ovation and thunderous applause :)
Jimmi graciously signed autographs and engaged everyone with a big smile for photos.
Thanks to the Downeaststreeters and Jimmi Harkishin for a great event.
And thank you Denise for your great report! Another success for the Downeast Streeters and another treat for Halifax Corrie fans. Jimmi will be in Toronto this weekend for the British Isles Show.