2021 was a massive year for Coronation Street but if you thought that was big, prepare for an emotional rollercoaster of a year ahead with unbelievable twists, deep romances, tragic developments and secrets exploding.
Show producer Iain MacLeod has revealed a LOT of gossip about what we can expect, outlining big developments for major characters.
There’s a major crisis for Toyah Battersby (Georgia Taylor) amid a bombshell from Abi Franklin (Sally Carman) and Imran Habeeb (Charlie Habeeb) while Sarah and Adam Barlow (Tina O’Brien and Sam Robertson) face a huge disaster in the form of unpredictable newcomer Lydia (Rebecca Ryan).
Elsewhere a war of epic proportions explodes between David Platt (Jack P Shepherd) and Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard) while there’s a devastating and relatable journey ahead for teenager Summer Spellman (Harriet Bibby).
But enough from us – it’s what Iain has to say that you really dropped by for.
Faye and Emma
In terms to start the new year where we mean to go on, it takes a much worse turn for Emma and Faye. There is a cataclysmic event that’s not their fault but it’s a dilemma of secrecy and cover ups. Two likeable women are out of their depths and the consequences are life changing. The scripts are exciting and complicated – and funny as Emma is hapless. It’s quirky but at the bottom of it, it will trigger a seismic event of their lives.
When you watch it happen, what you will feel that the decisions they make, when they add them up, it turns into a total nightmare. There are witnesses who can incriminate them which is a nightmare when it goes worse. I love stories that crash land out of thin air – sometimes they take years to manifest. The characters in the middle, Emma and Faye are in the beginnings of a close friendship, it’s a story about cementing and challenging that friendship
Abi, Toyah and Imran
She is someone used to finding herself in a pickle and 2022 will continue in that vain. It’s a really challenging year, she could lose Kevin and Jack and she will be caught in a David and Goliath legal battle. It threatens to destroy Imran and Toyah’s relationship as Toyah does not know the full truth. It tests the bounds of Toyah’s forgiveness to the max.
Imran is forced to look in a mirror and consider himself and the man who he is – he could go to the dark side. It’s a big buried bomb just waiting for people to end up in the blast radius. It won’t be for months but the way it happens is very surprising. It’s big and shocking and it’s the last thing you’d expect from something this way. It turns into a gobsmacking cataclysm.
It’s intimate but the shock will make people fall off their chairs. It’s no secret that Sally is a fantastic actor, rightly awarded, so it’s exciting to keep her and draw in Mike, Georgie, Charlie. Smack them in the middle of something colossal.
Lydia, Sarah and Adam
I hope to bring loads of excitement, Rebecca is fantastic since we saw her audition, it was a case of “where do we sign?” We wanted an updated version of a 90s thriller – like Fatal Attraction. They look horribly dated in gender politics. So what would it look like as a 21st century story. I hope we’ve crafted it, everyone behaves badly, it’s very nuanced but she becomes a threat to the marriage; a catalyst for Sarah and Adam to destroy themselves.
There is lots of scheming and intelligent subterfuge in several parties. It culminates in some exciting pay off in the first six months. It starts small and even humourous with Adam and Sarah as they take pot shots, gradually it becomes more nightmare-ish. It’s exciting with three fantastic actors. It’s thriller-ish but modern.
Jacob and Amy
What appealed was him is a fantastic actor, very Coronation Street, he has funny bones and authentic comedy – sometimes when we imports bad guys, sometimes it doesn’t have authenticity. But it works with him, I believe him 100%. We will pair him up with someone historically well behaved. She is quite sensible given her family dynamic and that’s Amy. How will Tracy and Steve react to the worst possible boyfriend – they try with failure to strategize this, cut her off financially, reverse psychology.
Meanwhile Jacob is redeeming himself – we discover about how he arrived in the drug gang and it will reframe views of him. He is trying to put the past behind him and make amends with Leanne and Simon. Jacob was groomed – he did do some heinous things but he is mature enough to know he has to put things right. It’s Meet the Parents proper Corrie style. All the characters in this are cast iron Corrie, it’s a rich story.
Yasmeen and Stu
I love the Nazirs, centre of some of my favourite storylines. Zeedan has added a new layer and he has brought more trouble than good. You need a stable family to be rocked and upsetting the apple cart. Underneath he is still a good guy who makes a terrible mistake – we see his wife come in, who he hasn’t met yet, she holds a mirror up and he regrets the man has become. Will he lose his happy ending due to ending up in this situation? A lot of lies and family strife. There are brilliant scenes to follow.
We like the re-exploring of Yasmeen’s psyche after Geoff – it would be easy to move on and forget it happened. In reality, it’s such a colossal psychological bomb with lifelong after effects. It’s not a case of retreading old ground. With Stu, can she trust again – her approach to friendships is damaged but is it irrevocable? She lacks self esteem – this man really likes her, can she embrace a happy future of is she irretrievably damaged and it costs her a happy ending?
It’s a fresh way of exploring Geoff without re-treading. Stu is Corrie’s core, character full of funny and a bit like what Peter Barlow might be in his 60s. He likes a bit of trouble, he is rough around the edges, and a firecracker for Yasmeen which causes challenges. Some of behaviour is high jinks, it will subtly reflect some things Geoff did – to what degree is he like him is what Yasmeen questions are fears? It’s a complicated and unique love story. I will remain tight lipped about how it ends.
Chesney and Gemma
I love that family a lot, for many reasons. We haven’t seen the quads as much as we had liked, it feels we can now examine that house. Joseph is sensitive and has tragedy in the background – he is essentially in the box room as the quads are lavished on. There’s also damage financially, five mouths to feed is punitive. Joseph has an unsettled home life which causes him to run away. There’s widespread panic and it leads to a different story for another family. He won’t be tearaway – much more vulnerability. He’s not the new David Platt and it’s really heartbreaking.
The wider families make terrible decisions – Bernie for one, makes an act that is for the right reasons but brings families into a major feud. It makes the whole Street look sideways at the Brown family, and also threatens the burgeoning friendship with Dev. It spins off into a story that will see a reintroduction to the household that will provide another threat. There’s a lot going on but I think that family can handle it. Sam is a mature actor but he’s the male of the girl next door, he’s an every dad. His performances are so moving – the family is central part of 2022.
We certainly don’t forget Aled. Gemma in her eagerness to be an ally to the deaf community goes ever so slightly too far. It brings itself to a significant incident of public disorder but in a Corrie way. Gemma never quite knows how to quit, she will succeed in increments but on the way, she will lay waste to a lot of relationships.
I hope it won’t be didactic and wiggling our fingers. It’s a Gemma story but an important undertone of topics like disability access. We do like to tell stories of a kind of drama karma – promoting big discussions. Dolly Rose is incredibly proficient – she has taken it upon herself for loads more than necessary in her own time – she has undertaken exams and qualifications. They all are throwing themselves in with gusto. It matters a lot to them.
What we wanted to do with Harriet with Summer is a really relatable story of the pressures of being a teenage girl – romance, exams, conforming to looks and peers, risky from a health point of view. It’s our most down to earth story but at the core has a medical condition that many people don’t know about. It’s very universal and what it spins off into is going to be one of our most important stories next year. It will dig further into her diabetic experiences – I learned something I was not aware of.
It’s heartbreaking to see young person disintegrating but she will ultimately come through and value herself. She will learn to love herself – and we look at the underexplored dynamic where she has three dads. I love the potential in that character group – when we are able trying to co parent this troubled young woman in their messed up romantic situation.
The Summer story also starts a big new family feud which is the Barlows versus the Platts – it starts with the Christmas Day and a feud with Daniel and Max. Daniel and Max leads to a fairly pronounced feud – David and Daniel, Sarah and Adam. I was struck with Daniel and David in many scenes – I asked if they’d had many scenes and Jack quipped that he maybe passed him a beer mat. Having these two actors in really big angry and emotional scenes – both quite witty, it’s just dynamite. The moment I saw them going at it, I just knew. Why didn’t we do this before?! I don’t want to jinx it by saying it’s like Ken and Mike but it has the potential to go on a long time. I hope it works.
Rovers, Jenny and Leo
I love that story – when an older man goes for a younger woman no-one blinks an eye but when it’s the other way round it’s the story – we want to address that it shouldn’t be remarkable, genuine emotional, what’s wrong with that? Jenny asks if she is a cougar, does he have a fetish for older women– it’s played like a rom com. There’s incredibly funny bits in it but mega cringe at some scenes. It’s funny, romantic, long running – Jenny’s prejudices and self consciousness of her age and age gap relationships confront her. But she pursues her own happiness but it’s not straight forward.
The Rovers has been one of the biggest challenges, I am itching to chuck fifteen people in there as soon as I ncan. As joyous as it should be, we finally have a group that bring fun and chemistry. Emma, Gemma, Sean, Jenny, Daisy – it’s a brilliant group. We want the Rovers back to what it should be. The Jenny story is brilliant fun – we need some fun after the last few years. It feels fresh and it feels very fresh
Fiz and Tyrone
I have absolutely loved every single second of the Fiz and Tyrone story. There was a roll of the eyes at first, another affair. Right from frame one it’s not been like that – it’s been bizarrely funny but heartfelt. A scene of nine minutes of marital breakdown bn Ian Kershaw was one of the best things in years for me. When’s the earliest Tyrone and Phill can have another ludicrous fight? There’s more comedy feuding and we will give the audience cause to question Phill’s future. Fiz ends up in a dilemma to find out which way she goes.
I think I know what her happy ending is but we haven’t storylined yet. But it’s complicated for both Tyrone and Fiz – is it straightforward to have your ex back? Will your pride or family let you? Evelyn also adds her acidic asides – I could watch a whole episode of Evelyn being sour and witty. There will be a lot of that.
Tim and Sally
This kicks off in January – starting with an innocuous new years resolution. It’s life altering for one of the household and turns into a story we have never in soap done without quickly glancing away. We bring a prevalent issue into the daylight and point a camera into it. The matter is a bit awkward but it’s potent in that family. It becomes a colossal threat to everything Sally and Tim know about their relationship and what it looks like in the future. It’s massive really – it kicks off with a brilliantly ludicrous scene.
Tim mistakenly pulls down his pants at the wrong moment. But it soon spirals into a relationship shift. Tim and Sally feel like an iconic couple and some people in the storyline conferences want to pitch a split permanently. It always starts a massive argument. They feel right, they are peas in a pie. It matters to me and the audience. There will be a huge level of investment.
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