Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Do we always have it in for the Corrie producer?

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)

We always get loads of interesting comments posted on this blog. It's really wonderful when something you blog about is well received or generates discussion. One theme seems to run through a lot of discussions though - disliking the Corrie producer.

I don't know if this is a recent phenomenon. We revere producers from the good old days like H.V Kershaw or the legendary BIll Podmore, however more recent incumbents of this role have faired less well. Maybe it's because the entire medium of television and the media has changed during Corrie's long run, who knows? Certainly Corrie producers are much more visible these days.

The current producer, Stuart Blackburn, receives his fair share of criticism from across the board. I've seen plenty of comments warning us that Mr Blackburn will do the same to our favourite show as he did to Emmerdale. As I've never watched Emmerdale, I don't really know what that means.

Stuart Blackburn isn't alone though. His predecessor Phil Collinson was frequently targeted as the villain of the piece with claims that he didn't understand the essence of Coronation Street and was merely interested in filling the show full of his mates. Before Phil came Kim Crowther and she too faced criticism for the storylines she introduced and the castings she made. 

Going back further, I remember the late Jane MacNaught coming in for serious complaints when she introduced more issue-led storylines in the early 2000s. I certainly remember the outrage that came with Toyah's rape storyline and Alma's death due to cervical cancer. Perhaps one of the most controversial Corrie producers of all time was Brian Park, dubbed the "axe man" for killing off Derek Wilton and sacking many favourite, longstanding actors. 

So why do fans always seem to have it in for the Corrie producer? Is it because we think we could do the job better? It's clear to me that whoever does sit in the producer's chair these days needs a thick skin to survive!

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