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Tuesday, 24 August, 1999, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Street's wedding of the year
Wedding blliss: Lovestruck Ashley and man-eater Maxine
Wedding blliss: Lovestruck Ashley and man-eater Maxine
Coronation Street sweethearts Maxine and Ashley are finally going to walk down the aisle in what is being billed as the soap wedding of the year.

Actors Tracy Shaw and Steven Arnold have been filming the key scene for the veteran ITV series in Manchester.

Frank and Peggy: Soap wedding of the year?
Frank and Peggy: Soap wedding of the year?
Millions of fans will see hairdresser Maxine Heavey and butcher Ashley Peacock tying the knot when the special episode is shown on the 24 September.

During the filming Maxine - the Street's 48th blushing bride - was seen arriving in a yellow Rolls-Royce wearing a stunning pink wedding dress.

But whether it is the soap wedding of the year is another matter.

Nearly 20 million viewers watched Peggy Mitchell and Frank Butcher tie the knot in BBC One's EastEnders on 1 April.

Soap expert Chris Stacey explains: "I don't think it's going to be as big as Peggy and Frank's wedding.

Love is in the air: The happy couple
Love is in the air: The happy couple
"Maxine and Ashley as characters just aren't in the same league as Peggy and Frank.

"Tracy Shaw and Steven Arnold aren't household names like Barbara Windsor (Peggy) and Mike Reid (Frank)."

Maxine and Ashley's wedding may yet prove to be a winner in the ratings battle between the BBC's EastEnders and ITV's Coronation Street.

Coronation Street regularly pulls in more viewers than its BBC rival.

On-off relationship

It has been a rocky romance for the lovestruck couple - they have had an on-off relationship for years and endless rows over who will be the best man in the run-up to the big day.

Des Barnes: One of Maxine former loves
Des Barnes: One of Maxine former loves
In true soap style, their wedding will not run smoothly. Coronation Street bosses say viewers will be kept in suspense until the last minute.

Neighbour Judy Mallett (Gaynor Faye) insists she will not go to the wedding even though her husband Gary (Ian Mercer) is best man. She is too upset after overhearing the bride saying Gary is stupid and unphotogenic.

Ashley, Fred Elliot's nephew, lived with Maxine until he gave shelter to single mum Zoe Tattershall. Ashley and Zoe had a relationship, but he was devastated when she left to live with a cult in America.

Man-eater Maxine, who works for Audrey Roberts at the salon has had a string of relationships and one-night stands with the likes of Curly Watts, Des Barnes, Steve McDonald and Greg Kelly.

See also:

30 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Wedding knees-up in the Square
05 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Den and Angie team up again
21 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Soaping up the charts
19 Aug 99 | Entertainment
BBC shrugs off EastEnders 'leak'
28 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Former Street star Fred dies
24 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Television's crowning moments
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