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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Corrie producer Stuart Blackburn - one year on, what do you think?

It's been just over a year since Stuart Blackburn took over from Phil Collinson as Coronation Street producer.

When Stuart took over the reins at our favourite show, he gave an interview to the Manchester Evening News saying all the right things: "My vision of Corrie is really simple. The first episode wasn’t whimsical, it wasn’t a comedy, it wasn’t a nostalgic love-fest. It was gripping urban drama done on popular television for the very first time. It was kind of revolutionary – the lives, loves and aspirations of the working classes. What I want Corrie to do is retain that wit, the warmth and optimism."

So, what do you think of the last 12 months since Stuart Blackburn took over?  I'd give him 9/10 because as soon as he took over, he called Bev Callard to get her back in the show as Liz McDonald, he's brought back Todd Grimshaw, and has been given the unenviable task of killing off one of Corrie's best loved characters in Hayley Cropper because the actress who plays her wants to leave the show.

But he's also got rid of Brian, which I can't understand, because he was a fantastic character that could have been developed so much further.

Under Stuart's reign a few more characters are leaving this year, thankfully (for this fan) this includes Our Lady of the Back Room St Ella and her mum Gloria but I will miss Peter, Tina and Marcus.

Behind the scenes, he's had to deal with Michael Le Vell's high profile court case (and William Roache's court case which begins later this month) and the sacking of Chris Fountain.

So what do you think so far, Corrie fans?  Has Stuart Blackburn delivered on his vision of Corrie mentioned above?  I think he has, and look forward to everything that's in store for 2014 on the Street.

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Humpty Dumpty said...

SB did a great thing when he brought Liz back which really shows up the previous mistakes in creating the Price family. On the downside, SB hasn't really developed the everyday humour of the old Corrie. We get occasional glimpses of old mates chatting about nothing in particular, and we could do with more of them. Dennis is going and that's a wasted opportunity just as it is with Brian. We must thank SB, though, for bringing out a new dimension in Deirdre's character. I hope if Ken returns that Deirdre will realise she's better off leading her own life even if they still share a house. We haven't seen the jolly japes that I hoped for from Liz and Deirdre. He will cheer a lot of hearts if he dispenses with Tracy when KF's contract is up.

And a Happy New Year to all!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't seem to know what to do with actors who want to leave to pursue other acting jigs so he kills them off. Haley's demise, although heartbreaking is a mistake IMO. Tina's leaving-just as well as they've trashed her character beyond redemption.
Who do we have to look forward to this coming year? The return of Kevin..ugh. Sophie gets a new girlfriend who is also a clone of so many other 'troubled' young girds that have been on the show before..ugh. Eileen gets another storyline so we can listen to more self pitying remarks..ugh.
For me 2014 is the time I say goodbye to this soap. New producer with new ideas..nope - all been done before.

Frosty the Snowman said...

Seems to dislike women - turned kind hearted Rita into a nagging old bat, has totally ruined Tina, has reverted Kylie into the selfish drunken little chav that she was at first just as we were warming to the character. Turned Gail and Dierdre two long serving characters into senile gibbering idiots, turned Michelle and Liz into a couple of harpies. Has been instrumented in characters who had far more mileage in them to leave like Dennis and Brian, yet keeps on tired and dreadful characters like Sophie and Dev.

Tvor said...

I don't think he's done too badly. I've loved the Platts and Tilsley's this year, and with Hayley, there really wasn't much he could do. He couldnt' split them up so Hayley has to die. I'd rather see it this way, as hard as it is to handle than if she'd died suddenly. So glad Liz is back and I'm looking forward to seeing Lloyd with Andrea. He needs some fun in his life.

Anonymous said...

Of course any poll in here is biased to him because those wholly turned off by the direction of the show have stopped watching and so have no need to be on a fan website.

Zagg said...

Frosty, you hit the nail on the head! What has happened to all the women on this show?
Personally, I don't think this year has been a very good reflection of a new start for SB. Just seems to be rehashing storylines with little understanding of the characters. New Year....NEW WRITERS, please.

Anonymous said...

Frosty, very well said! I am watching in Canada and am so not looking forward to the skanky Kylie returning. In my humble opinion the show is in dire need of some NEW characters. So they are bringing in yet another girlfriend for boring Sophie yuk! Just what we need another mouthy chav! We desperately need some new likeable characters.

Anonymous said...

Storylines have been dreadful....Seen them all before.... New producer long overdue!!!!!

Unknown said...

I didn't think it's been over a year since SB took over because Collinson was in charge of the rovers fire so I would of thought it's nearing a year.

But the only things that I like that he's done are: the bullying storyline with Simon, Faye & Grace but it seems to have disappeared. The brain damage storyline is good but we haven't really seen him get help until now with Kal, whereas I thought he would have gotten the support he needed when he first left hospital, but we shall see where it leads.

The introductions of new characters are good: Maddie - still need to be convinced by her. But Andrea & Kal seem to be good. And I'm looking forward to seeing Steph's brother Luke being introduced, and Tony, Jason's dad.

One of the low parts for me was the whole Karl revelation thing - I expected so much more and so much more could be done. Another is the Tina/Peter affair.

The dragging on of the Platt story is annoying and I know that it isn't going to end yet.

The only great thing thus far is the Hayley story. Showing great acting and writing, including the interjections from Carla, Fiz & Tyrone.

I HATE that they are going to kill of Tina, but I just hope that they somehow redeem her into the once good character that she was beforehand.

But I look forward to what is to come.

Newfy Pearl said...

Frosty - I so agree with you. The women of Corrie seem to be expendable to SB.

njblas said...

Writing out Dennis is a huge mistake. He is Corrie royalty and should have been used more. Shame Mr Blackburn! On the plus side, the side-lining of Stella and Gloria into minor characters has been a huge relief:)

Anonymous said...

Who knows how far in advance Collinson's storylines were planned and how much they influenced the screen after SB took the reins? I really get the sense he's transformed some characters (Rita, Michelle, Tina) in anticipation of their storylines intersecting with characters who are leaving the Street (Dennis, Tina) or big changes (let us pray this is the end of Michelle and Steve). Many who post here complain that characters suddenly break up or have affairs with no lead-up and call it contrived. At least of one part of the couple's personality changes for the worst (which happens often, or else the divorce rate wouldn't be so high) how else can an affair/break up or something else happen and not seem contrived? I'd like to see SB axe more cast and force the writers to invest more in exploring the layers of the cast that remains.

Anonymous said...

Hayley had to die because there is no other plausible way that she would have permanently left Roy behind. Tina has had many things happen to her in the past and never left the Street so how else are we to believe the character suddenly up and leaves? It is clearly not a matter of SB not knowing what to do with characters who want to leave.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree that Haley had to die. The character had gone off on missionary work before so her leaving Roy for a longer period of time wouldn't have been a stretch of the imagination. I mean, they have Ken gone to Canada for how long now with the feeble excuse that he's taking care of someone. Or Kevin..up and gone with the excuse that he has to take care of his father. Why not Haley? She could have been off helping her son who's wife had just died or something similar but killing off a very popular character doesn't sit well with the viewers - not me anyway. They did the same thing at EE with the killing of Heather T.
The pairing of Tina with Peter while his wife is helping her dying friend is just not good.

abbyk said...

Tonight on the Red Rec, there was a great example of what’s wrong tonight with Corrie right now. Simon is playing with a car. Tyrone, a friendly mechanic who is great with kids, took no notice. Simon just stood there. A kind word or bit of interest would have lit up the scene; it’s what normal people do. Not always, but far too often I feel we get cartoons posing as real people.

Since SB arrived, the show feels more character driven than under PC. Getting Stella out of the Rovers has been a HUGE improvement. There are still huge holes, tho’, mostly in follow up and consequences. Faye & Simon aren't having issues post bullying? Nick waited how many months to ask a trainer he barely knows about therapy? Tyrone doesn't have abuse nightmares; he and Leanne haven’t seen each other since Christmas? That plus dumbing down Sally and Kylie, the shrewing of Rita & Liz, the inexplicable ongoing stupidity of Gail & Steve, and the mere existence of Michelle, Tracy, Tim, Norris, Mary and the Armstrong/Windass crew, what we’re left with is a very cartoonish bunch. We’re losing engaging characters in Hayley, Tina, Marcus, Brian & Dennis, maybe Peter. The only believable major characters left will be, IMHO, Jason, Fiz, Tyrone, Lloyd and (no hate) Sophie, and consistent but odd Roy. Izzy, Rita, Nick, Leanne, Carla, Dev and Liz are close but not quite. You can’t have believable character driven stories if you don’t have believable characters to drive them, and I don’t think this has been well addressed in the past year.

Anonymous said...

I also with they had done something else with Haley. Anything at this point, even disappearing or presumed dead. I'm not enjoying any of the storylines and agree they have ruined Tine and Kylie.

Newfy Pearl said...

I do have to say - I like that he brought Liz back. I like that Deirdre is stronger and no longer fooled by Tracey. I con't like that Carla has been turned into a half way likeable character! lol
I wanted to continue to dislike Carla....but I think she will truly be considered an iconic character once he is done. :-)

Anonymous said...

The positives

Dreary is NEVER in it and has no storylines.

Has handled Hayley's departure well - it has been written with great warmth and sensitivity and will be remembered for years to come.

Has AXED the embarrassing Brian from the cobbles all together.

Has reinstalled the great double act of Liz Mac and Steve McDonald (my favourite Corrie character) behind the bar of the Rovers.

Has introduced the character of
Andrea to the show - let's hope she becomes a Weatherfield regular.

Has paired Tim up with Sally Webster - a great new comedy couple.

Lots of airtime for Carla and Peter - two of Corries's best characters

The negatives

Has dragged out the Nick Tilsley brain injury storyline on for too long. Time to wrap it up!

Has reintroduced Todd to the cobbles as an almost different character - it doesn't work.

Is already talking about introducing the family of Kal - a character who is not yet properly established (I'm not a fan!). Don't run before you can walk.

Has turned Tina into a bunny boiler - not all that believable.

Is to introduce Jason Grimshaw's father to the show which can only mean more airtime for the Grimshaws (I'm not a fan!)

Overall, the pluses outweigh the minuses.


ChiaGwen said...

Very disheartened that SB chose to axe Dennis and now I can see why the writers have turned the old red-head into a shrew, reason enough for Dennis to take off for parts unknown - shame. I am totally at a loss as to why Sophie is still around - astoundingly useless character and way way past her sell by date. Too bad that church roof hadn't been a bit higher.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to know where Collinson's reign ends and SB's begins. Clearly SB was saddled with the Nick/David/Kylie storyline, but Kylie turning into Becky is not promising. Also, I think Julie Hes decided to leave during Collinson's reign or if not, probably because of the lack of decent stories during his time. I guess SB decided on the manner of her exit and that has been a highlight of the past year. Collinson would probably have had her run off with a travelling anorak salesman.

I think it will be this time next year, before we can really see the SB effect, good or ill.

Anonymous said...


I was going to say that Julie leaving has at least meant that Roy and Hayley have at long last been given a decent storyline to get their teeth into.

I can't remember the last time they had had a storyline before this other than that that dreadful sleepwalking nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Although sb needs to be axed and i really hate him, i think haleys cancer storyline was the only good thing he did


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