Friday, 18 September 2015

Coronation Street gets a new producer

As is usually the way, every few years, there's a change at the top. ITV today has announced that Stuart Blackburn who has been the producer for Coronation Street, is moving on and there will be a new person sitting at the helm in the new year. She is Kate Oates and she has most recently been the producer over at Emmerdale.

Blackburn has been responsible for quite a few controversial storylines during his three year tenure including the murder of Tina McIntyre, the death of Hayley Cropper, a fire that killed Kal Nazir and Maddie Heath and the current drug dealer storyline involving the custody of Max, Kylie Platt's son. He has also overseen not one but two live episodes, including the one to air on September 23. Coronation Street has also won two BAFTA awards during his tenure.

“I’ve loved every minute of producing Coronation Street,” said Stuart. “What a rollercoaster ride the last three years has been. We’ve met every challenge along the way and I can’t praise the cast, crew and writers highly enough for rising to the occasion with each storyline."

He continued: “For the next few months my focus will remain entirely on all things Corrie, as we have massive stories coming up taking us in to the Spring and Summer of 2016. I wish my friend Kate well in her role as she takes on one of the best jobs in television.”

Kate Oates was producer of The Archers for 7 years and has been with Emmerdale since 2013 where she has also been a story editor in the past and she's also been an Assistant Producer for Corrie in the past as well.

“I’m delighted to accept the role as Coronation Street’s new Producer,” said Kate. “It’s really exciting to be moving from one amazing soap to another and I feel very blessed.” 

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Llifon said...

I look forward to Kate Oates taking over. I guessed she'd be the next top dog.

There has been praise for Emmerdale with her at the realm, so here's hoping she does wonders for Corrie.

Bring back the oldies (especially Audrey) to the forefront I say and a lot of the established characters:

While Blackburn's tenure hasn't been the best, the pluses have been:

Sally and Tim's romance and relationship
Jason becoming a well rounded character
Deirdre's post-funeral episode
Kirk and Beth's marriage
Craig emerging as a classic Corrie character
Roy's grief after Hayley
Liz back at the Rovers and becoming the best landlady since Bet Lynch

Stephen said...

I agree with Llifon. Long may Liz reign behind the bar, and I hope that Craig lasts for years.

I do hope that Kate Oates will keep plot line durations down to no more than a few months. The current Callum plot has been a pain in the neck, and there was Karl Munro's murder of Sunita Alahan and its interminable aftermath before he was arrested, and there was the dragging plot of Lewis's revenge against Audrey and the Platts over what really was only a trifling slight.

Tracy Luv's manslaughter of Kal and Maddie happened only a few months ago, and now she is being arrested for it. This was a sensibly short plot line, during which we have been waiting for her come-uppance. If she had been discovered immediately, it would have been a damp squib. This has lasted long enough to build some tension, and not so long that we are fed up to the back teeth with it. If Ms Oates takes note of this, she'll do well. If she favours year-long plots that groan under their own weight and irritate, and even insult, the viewers, then out with her, and I'll step in and produce Corra myself.

Anonymous said...

This will be stuart blackburn's only live eрisode. The last one was the tram crash in 2010 with рhil collinson as рroducer

Anonymous said...

You could see the change coming by the way he was bringing in another 10 or 12 cast members, I hope the new producer will cull the cast back to a reasonable amount and give the underused cast some more air time and put the Platts on the back burner for 6 months or more.

Chewy said...

Stuart also produced Emmerdale's live episode (and the announcement that he was leaving ED happened the same time as the live episode too lol)

Anonymous said...

Worst decision..killing off Haley.

Rebecca Irvine said...

Disagree 100 percent.

Rebecca Irvine said...

Disagree 100 percent

Anonymous said...

Cue the Blackburn bashing and hopeful dreams about the new producer... only to be followed by bashing. This seems to be a revolving door reaction to new producers.

I fully admit that I have dreams of my own for this new producer. The first is to be more involved in the writing process - promoting continuity along with creativity. The second is a drastic culling of the ridiculous number of cast. If they need to say on, faster rotation of story lines that feature a particular group or family - it's turned into the bloody Platt show!

Cobblestone said...

I've just been reading viewers' comments on other sites & the consensus seems to be that Ms Oates has done a tremendous job over at Emmerdale, where she had the task of clearing up the dreary mess left behind by the previous producer, who was ... um, Stuart Blackburn! Apparently she sets great store by strong stories that are character-driven and believes in giving all cast members their fair share of stories. There are reports that the current cast feel SB doesn't listen to them (and I'm shocked to learn that Michael LeVell pointed out that Keven had lost a baby during the Jenny thread and was ignored). Sounds like this will prove a very happy day in Corrie's history. Now we just have to brace ourselves for the inevitable sackings - SB sacrificed Brian to demonstrate his new broom, which I think was a big mistake. I wonder who will go this time?

Cobblestone said...

Anonymous @21:59: Haley was killed off at the actress' request. It wasn't Blackburn's decision (except that she could have been written out alive but that would be utterly unconvincing for the Croppers. Only death could have separated them).

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The actress wanted to leave. not likely to divorce Roy and Haley are they. No, they had to kill her.

John McE said...

Maybe she'll be the one to finally axe Dev? He's hardly in it anymore anyway, and if the right person or family took over the corner shop it could be restored to being one of the cornerstones of the programme, instead of hardly ever being seen.

I know it's all paper talk, but the idea that Simon Gregson could be suffering real depression after suffering it in "The Street" is ludicrous. It consisted of him making a few sad gurning faces rather than his normal gurning faces, plus a couple of scenes with one of the most unconvincing councillor ever.

Having said that, whatever is really wrong with Simon, I wish him a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

It's Hayley by the way. The new producer has a good reputation. There are plenty - a good dozen - characters who could go without being missed. About time the cast list was reduced. Good stories well told and well acted, produced with more care - and stop telling the press what's about to happen. That might push the ratings up a bit.

Anonymous said...

First order of business - reunite Steve and Lloyd. Craig Charles has made it clear he doesn't want to leave for good. TPTB are daft to have pushed him out. Hope this new producer brings him back.

Joseph Billington said...

Welcome Kate! Bye bye Stuart! Kate should bring energy to Corrie and my dreams are:
More airtime for Beth, Kirk,Ches and Sinead...and not forgetting Craig!
A few quiet months over at Chez Platt.
Dev and the kids to wave ta-ta to the Street.
Mary to strike a friendship with Yasmeen.
Cathy and Roy to find happiness.
Nick and Carla to wed!

Unknown said...

Corrie has been in decline for years and the new families just don't work at all. They need a new gossipy woman like Hilda or Vera and stop the references like The Red Wreck and FreshCo every episode as it's so dated. Steve leaving is a blessing as he ain't funny at all and is turning into a parody of himself. The Callum storyline is boring and gone on for far to long. It needs new characters and more believable storyline. Peter Kay would naked a great landlord.

Anonymous said...

If they do cut down on character numbers, ( good job too) can they please make room for some old ones to come back.
Brian and Julie and the lovely Graeme, pleeeease.

Pootle5 said...

I've been waiting for this day for a couple of years or so, the aftermath Rover's fire was the start of the downward spiral for me. I hated the Tina/ Peter/murder plot even more and this last year has been Platt overload.
I'm reassured that those who know Emmerdale are positive about the move to Corrie. I'll have a large sweet sherry to celebrate :)

Janice Plumford said...

According to the newspapers, SB was axed due to falling viewing figures and being very unpopular with the cast who cheered when it was announced he was leavin apparenently. The Nazirs' future is uncertain according to the article as they proved unpopular and Jimmi Mystry left as he didnt agree with the storylines.

I just hope Kate Oats brings the old Corrie humour back and has more character led stories and stop having the Platts in every storyline almost and stop the dumbing down of Gail, as someone who has watched her for years its very uncomfortable viewing having her portrayed as an idiot despised by her family.

Anonymous said...

It's a small request but I am suffering from Bistro boredom! I roll my eyes every time a character from the street suggests going out for a meal as they ALWAYS end up there. Characters used to have lives away from the street itself and it felt less claustrophobic. - Micky

Alison said...

I remember reading an article a couple of months ago with a comment from Beverley Callard talking about the possibility that Liz would be put back together with Tony and she worded it very carefully but it was clear that her opinion is that there's no chance in hell that Liz would get back with him. It must be tiresome for actors when their characters which some of them have been playing for decades are written completely out of character.

Characters that I would like to see go: Callum, Dev and his kids, Sophie, Maria, Luke, Michael, Cathy, Chesney, Sinead, Sarah, Bethany, Robert, Zedan (I don't mind the other Nazirs), Simon, Sean, Billy (he started out promising and has gone absolutely nowhere), Todd, Anna, Faye and Erica. I would love to see Nick leave with Carla in May. We know there's going to be drama re Rob between now and May but please let Carla have a happy ending - happy endings can still be entertaining for the audience! Perhaps one of them gets a business opportunity abroad, and due to all the drama they've recently experienced in Weatherfield they decide they need some time away and take up the opportunity.
And they need to tone down some characters: Norris, Kirk, Gail, Sally/Tim, and Tim/Kevin. Sally/Tim are mostly great but have sometimes stepped over the line to being ridiculous.

I totally agree spoiler wise - the level of detail released is crazy. Two things recently which we only learnt when they aired was the fake Gavin storyline (all that had been released was that Michael's son was going to show up) and that Amy would be in the Victoria Court fire. As soon as Liz asked Carla to have Amy for the night I was like "oooh! nice twist!" and realised that feeling never happens anymore. I could just not read the spoilers but it's practically impossible to avoid if you want to chat about Corrie online.

Anonymous said...

@ Micky I completely agree with your small request. Remember when Mike Baldwin used to wine and dine his dates at an Italian restaurant located... somewhere else? Impressing the ladies with his clout among the waiters was part of the running gag, but now that 'class' (in the form of the Bistro) has moved to the street, it's as though no one ever thinks to seek other options. Back when Baldwin could afford to dine outside of Weatherfield, 'class' was the seeling point. I think the contemporary equivalent would be 'hip,' which the Bistro is not, and which was merely alluded to as an option when DJ Ryan magnetically pulled the likes of Katie and Steph into town.

That said, having once lived on a small working-class street in Paris, the natives did support local business, which, at that time, were a Serbian restaurant, a Berber cafe, and a Berber bistro. The locals, however, were extremely proactive and creative (harking back to an earlier, more communal time on Corrie), organizing open mics, live music nights, and even original plays in these venues. When the Berber barista lost the lease on his cafe, the community went the distance of building him a new cafe in an empty garage. This is the kind of storyline I'd love to see, especially if it turned out that Roy was evicted from the cafe .

The Nazirs have acted as an entrepreneurial force on the street, but the two new establishments - the fitness centre and the community centre - absorb energy that could be distributed elsewhere. In this day and age I would have expected a pop up business to appear, maybe a tattoo parlour (with Craig designing tattoos), or - instead of an old world community centre - a young person's lounge with rotating acts (kind of like where Rita used to perform, but way hipper): Kylie would be perfect to manage it:)

Anonymous said...

The loss of the bookies is felt. It was a good place for the men in particular to meet by chance. No one has much reason to visit its replacement. The kebab shop should be used more. Most of the residents are more likely to eat from there than be able to afford regular meals at the bistro. The gym is a terrible hub as it requires people to exercise at such low intensity that they can maintain a conversation so it's not worth turning up!

Anonymous said...

Tracey's shoр is where the bookies once was

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 20.27 , I particularly loved the days pf 'Delphines' and 'The Clock'. Nobody ever mentions these places now!- Micky

Anonymous said...

I have been a very infrequent viewer since the Stella overload days. I find the criminality now on Corrie not to my liking. I have long advocated the removal of Tracy because I feel her acceptance by the viewers is permission to inflict more of these arson, murder, drugs, kidnapping, violence, rape plots. I know these things exists in the real but for that I watch the evening news. In my entertainment I do not need to be involved in the lives of the criminal classes, which Corrie has now become (with a few exceptions). My long-standing Corrie habit is over and I now only watch whenever there a story I anticipate will interest me. The last time watched was Hayley's death because I heard the acting and script was worthy of my time. I hope a female producer can reverse that criminal trend and bring back us oldsters.

Cobblestone said...

Mickey (Anonymous @ 18:51) your comment got me thinking. All my favourite restaurants from the '90s & Naughties are either no longer there or else under new management that has produced an inferior service, so perhaps it's reflecting real life if The Clock & Delphines are now defunct. I always take pleasure though in any mention of the other local pubs. Pubs do tend to stick around for decades - The Flying Horse seems to be still trading, even though the locals (since Jack died) seem to favour the Weathy Arms.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does Kate Oates bear a striking resemblance to Claire Peacock?

Tvor said...

She does resemble Claire (Julia Haworth) a bit yes.

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