Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Thursday, 3 September 2020

The Joy of Six! Corrie blog interview with Executive Producer Iain MacLeod

The first time I virtually attended a Coronation Street zoom press day, we were at the very beginning of lock-down / COVID-19 and it was all about the return of filming on the cobbles. It feels rather serendipitous then, that I’m charged with attending this latest press day event, as Corrie announces the return of six episodes a week. Yes, that’s right Corrie fans, September 14th heralds the return of six visits a week to Weatherfield and some awesome Autumn storylines have been promised!

In this first of three press day interviews, we chat to producer Iain Macleod about Corrie’s return, the 60th-anniversary plan, rescheduling transmission of shows, and some seriously exciting 2021 stories that are in current production

Q - Did you always have September as a date pencilled in for the shows return to six episodes or was it more to do with restrictions being eased? 

A - We use an in-house transmission chart that plots out which episodes are going to air on which day, 12 - 18 months in advance, and we were looking to see how quickly we could ramp up production for a return whilst weighing up the risks. At the point where we looked to returning to six episodes, yes, it’s exactly where we wanted to be and we are now returning to a pre-pandemic pace of filming. 

Q - How has it felt just working on three episodes a week? 

A - From an editorial point of view and production, we’ve been back at full pace for quite a while, and in actual fact, we’ve had very little holiday period during transmission of 3 episodes a week. Its been interesting to see the audience’s reaction to three episodes a week and felt like turning back the clock in terms of scheduling. I don’t think we’ve had just 3 episodes a week since the 1990's so it felt quite exotic and special but I have missed six a week, it’s great to return.

Q- What has been your proudest achievement during Corrie COVID?

- Off-screen, it would be when actors have been anxious about returning, due to illness perhaps or nerves, and they have said how safe they have felt upon set and in filming circumstances. I’m very proud of the team overall 

Q - When can fans expect to see older and younger aged cast members returning to our screens, and ‘full cast’ overall?

- There’s no ‘turning of the tide’ in terms of everybody returning, with no specific date. There are rigid assessments for those wanting to return (who wish to return, no one is forced), you’ll see some characters back on screen pretty soon though, some are in filming right now, and we’ll largely be looking towards the end of the year. 

Q - As Autumn season approaches, can you divulge any storylines or spoilers for us? 

A - There are loads to come! I’m really enjoying the Leanne & Oliver story, it's heartbreaking and poignant, with some real momentum at the beginning of September. It’s one of these stories that has far-reaching tentacles across the street, due to Steve and Tracey’s blended family, with colossal ripples rolling across the street and loads of layers added to it. Nick's past promises a secret, and there are real repercussions for Simon and Leanne going into 2021. 

We’ve got a bumpy road ahead for Abi & Kevin for the remainder of the year, involving Debbie Webster, and an epic feud between the women in Kevin’s life. We’ve loads more for Daniel Osbourne and sex-worker Nicky that will rumble on for a bit, that may include Geoff, and some drama coming up for Peter and Carla that will involve Abi. They won’t have an affair but it will be explosive and that’s promised for later this year. Paul’s historical sex abuse story is also making a return, with Kel’s (rumoured) death casting doubt over his and Billy’s relationship. A HUGE storyline for 2021, for which we shall be laying the groundwork, will involve the younger end of the cast including, Nina, Kelly, Asha, which will be hard-hitting and also involves Roy and Abi. It's a story with serious social responsibilities, that is quite tragic and sad. Eileen’s love life is also promising, with the introduction of a love story that has essences of Corrie history and its a romcom that will turn Eileen’s life upside down -we shall run it as long as we can. Keep your eyes peeled for that. 

Q - How are the plans coming together for the 60th and has COVID 19 changed any of that? 

 - Yes, we had a big production/stunt / set-build planned that had to be shelved quite quickly but we've managed to save the planned storylines involved. Weirdly, it hasn't diminished the story, it made it more of a human impact thing and more story grounded. Visually the scale has been scaled back but viewers certainly won't suffer for it!

NEXT WEEK we chat with actress Julia Golding about Shona's brain injury, plus we interview Sally Carmen to chat about Abi's latest drug addiction battle and relationship with Kevin. 

Ta-ra for now! 

I am @rybazoxo your cobbles connoisseur 

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


Anonymous said...

Another issue based storyline? Involving the teen cast? Please God no...

Anonymous said...

Bonnie from Canada:

Anonymous, I couldn't agree more!!


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