Coronation Street boss defends soap after criticism from former cast and fans


Coronation Street boss John Whiston has defended the soap after recent criticism from former cast members and fans.

The long-running ITV series has been subjected to some backlash in recent years over an increasing focus on darker, issue-based plotlines, and a lack of balance with more classic comic fare.

Among those criticising the show is Les Battersby actor Bruce Jones, who told The Guardian: "I watched it from day one but now my wife says it's not worth watching. You can't have that many murders on one street. She's watched it all her life but she’ll tell you 'it's not just me saying it, it’s everyone'.

evelyn plummer, coronation street

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"The writers we had were living Manchester city life. It's not the actors' faults – they're all doing a good job for my money – but it's the writers that have changed. I actually think we've lost that element of what Manchester life is all about."

Current star Maureen Lipman, who plays Evelyn Plummer, has also taken aim at the show, recently telling the Beyond the Title podcast: "We've come to a point in Corrie now where people are getting murdered in knicker factories.

"We're having domestic abuse… anything that ticks the box of social problems in the 21st-century is going to be in [it]."

Meanwhile, Beverley Callard said last year on the How to be 60 podcast that she departed her role as Liz McDonald as she "felt that the scripts weren't what they used to be".

beverley callard as liz mcdonald in coronation street

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In response to The Guardian's report, which included criticism from many long-term fans, ITV's managing director of continuing drama John Whiston defended the soap in a statement.

"Coronation Street is, and always has been, a mixture of characters you love, earthy humour and stories that matter such as the current Liam bullying storyline or the Lauren grooming storyline," he said.

"The show is proud to explore important contemporary issues such as these and our audience research shows that viewers really appreciate these stories and believe we deal with them in an engaging but responsible way. Which is why Coronation Street continues to be the most-watched soap on British TV."

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

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