The curse of the award ceremony strikes again it would seem, as Coronation Street producer Phil Collinson takes drastic measures to shake the show up after what he considers an unsuccessful year.
According to The People newspaper, Collinson is considering ‘axing’ five Coronation Street characters, after the soap failed to bag ‘Best Soap’ at this years British Soap Awards (even though the nine awards it did win was more than any other soap on the night). Cast and fans alike were shocked and surprised when Coronation Street were pipped to the post by rival soap, Eastenders, for British Soap Award for ‘Best Soap’ and the BAFTA for ‘Continuing Drama’ earlier this month.
Kate Ford, who plays Tracy Barlow in the ITV soap spoke to The Daily Record about the cast’s reaction saying:
“We were surprised and disappointed. I wasn’t even in the live episode but I watched it as a fan, and I was sat there on the edge of my seat.
“I was really surprised it didn’t win. But I do genuinely think that because the of the year we had, we should have won the BAFTA. But it didn’t.”
She added: “I don’t know what to say about [the Soap Awards]. We didn’t win. It’s a shame. But someone has to win. It can’t be us all the time.”
Victims of the big axe are said to have been made aware of their fate and cast rumoured to be clearing their dressing rooms are: Cheryl Gray (Holly Quin-Ankrah), her son Russ (Finton Flynn), her ex-husband Chris Gray (Will Thorp) and lesbian teenager Sian Powers (Sacha Parkinson). Lloyd Mullaney (Craig Charles) who plays Cheryl’s partner and co owner of the taxi firm Street Cars is also said to be leaving the show temporarily.
These characters are considered secondary to the show, even though Sacha Parkinson in particular has a huge fan base and following for her convincing portrayal of Sian, in the soaps first lesbian storyline. Since the announcement, there has been much speculation that her leaving is political due to the recent open criticism of Collinson, who is openly gay himself, as to the increasing amount of gay characters residing on the Street.
These characters are set to leave later this year, although it the details of their exits are still confirmed, it is reported that Cheryl and Chris will reunite and leave Weatherfield with their son Russ, leaving their respective partners Lloyd and Maria heartbroken. This may set the scene for LLoyd’s departure also, although at present it reported that his exit will not be permanent, but a 3 month sabbatical in order to film the new series of Red Dwarf.