With thanks to Wikipedia, I know that Coronation Street has had 33 Producers since it began in 1960. Of those 33 Producers,only eight have been women, as follows:
Margaret Morris (1963-4)
June Howson (1970)
Susi Hush (1974-6)
Pauline Shaw (1982)
Carolyn Reynolds (1992-4)
Sue Pritchard (1994-7)
Jane McNaught (1999-2002)
Kim Crowther, pictured above (2008-2010)
Now then, I don't know anything about television production and so I'm asking you, Corrie fans and those in the know, if you think having a female Producer at the helm of our favourite telly show makes it a better show to watch? Does it make any difference?
The only female Producer I know a little about is Susi Hush, who tried to, according to her obituary in The Independent "imbue the narrative with gritty, controversial social realism". She was also the Producer who took the women of the Street away from Weatherfield to Majorca on their jollies.
I guess that any Producer of any TV show, but especially soap, needs to press the right buttons to win the awards. By that I mean they need a sexy female, a hunky male, a best exit, a best storyline, the best special effects - all that kind of thing on which the world of TV and soap awards now turn, whether we like it or not. And whether the Producer is a woman or a man makes no difference, here. Awards are there to be won.
However, the awards for the things, that I as a Corrie fan, would value wouldn't make entertaining viewing for the nation. So, there's no award for Best Eyebrow Raised in a Knowing Way. And no award for Over the Shoulder Look of Terror When Hugging Someone While Facing The Camera. And no award for Quiet Moment with Soft Line of Dialogue that Makes Your Heart Melt.
But where, I wonder, a woman might be able to make a difference - and here I'm willing to be argued with because I truly want to know what you all think - is in Corrie's portrayal of emotionally strong women. Corrie's very foundation of strong, feisty women is now on shaky ground and has been for some time. We've got Manic Mary, Toxic Tracy, Missing-in-action Emily, moaning minny Anna with her spatula of spite. an assortment of young 'uns with nothing more to do than flick their hair and flutter their eyelashes.
On the plus side, there are the women I'm enjoying watching. I like watching Carla and Tracy but have no empathy for either. I adore Izzy, Sally, Liz, the much-missed Deirdre, Eileen, Gail, Audrey, Julie, Yasmeen but feel ambivalent at best about the rest - the ones with the boobs and the shiny shampoo-ad hair.
I'm aware that I haven't made a good point very well here. Female producers might not make a difference. We might just need a capable captain, of any gender, to steer the portrayal of the Street's women, perhaps back to Majorca. Or even Blackpool. Or even just to a girls' night out.
But one thing's for certain. We do need Corrie's strong women back in the spotlight - and by that I don't mean yet another Tracy / Carla cat-fight.
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