(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog July 2011, reposted to this blog with permission.)
ITV's This Morning had Michelle Collins and Phil Collinson on, er, this morning, to answer some of the stories that have appeared in the press recently.
Firstly, Stella's accent: Nobody at Coronation Street has a problem with it and it won't be changing. Phil thinks it's important that with the Rovers' landlady being such a pivotal role, she should have a northern accent and Michelle defended it as actually being toned down from the strong Bolton accent she was using for a play up there earlier this year. As far as the family is concerned, storylines are already planned through next year and so there will be no hasty rewrites to get rid of them. New families take time to bed in, cf. the Battersbys and the Slaters.
Ratings: As we pointed out on this blog, if anything, the ratings are up. This Morning also did a comparison and found the same thing, year on year, summer on summer, ratings are actually up. The comparison that the late, unlamented News of the World did, compared an episode that had appeared in the Britain's Got Talent week, where you would expect the audience to be higher, against one which was shown at the same time as an Andy Murray match at Wimbledon. Hardly a fair comparison.
Crisis meeting: It didn't happen. What The People got hold of was the notes from a regular progress meeting where the state of the show is discussed openly and honestly between the whole production crew. There is no crisis and everyone at ITV is happy with where the show is and where it's going.
Is Corrie too gay? No it isn't. There are only 2 gay couples, Roy and Hayley don't count. And anyway, audience feedback shows that Hayley, Sean and Sophie are 3 of the best-loved characters and so of course the producers are going to write stories about them.
So, it's all a storm in a teacup, though that makes me wonder why they've gone to such lengths to defend themselves against criticism in the press when they could just so easily have left it all to be tomorrow's chip wrappings.