The stars of Coronation Street have been left feeling very uneasy as producers of the show have revealed they are about to have their “biggest clear out in years” meaning several stars will face the chop, according to the Daily Star newspaper.
Notorious for his no-nonsense attitude, new executive producer Stuart Blackburn, who is due to start in January, is reportedly plotting a huge shake up to the staffing roster in order to make the show his own, earning him the nickname the “grim reaper” by some of the younger actors.
One cast member told the publication: “There’s three groups of stars on Corrie – the untouchables like Barbara Knox, Bill Roache and Eileen Derbyshire, the long-term contractors and sexy ones like Kym Marsh and Michelle Keegan.
“And then there’s the rest of us. Most people are either on six-month contracts or one-year contracts, so we all know any of us could be on our way out the door within weeks of him arriving.
“Whenever a new producer starts you get called into their office to meet them and discuss your character – if you get called in for a second time it’s not good news!”
The source added: “There’s a lot of worried people here and agents are all trying to get their stars longer contracts before he starts.
“It’s only natural Stuart will want to put his mark on the show and that always means some new faces appearing – and some leaving.”
According to ITV sources, those likely to be effected by this mass sacking are Jimmi Harkishin (Dev Alahan), Alan Halsall (Tyrone Dobbs), Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper), Andy Whyment (Kirk Sutherland), Jennie McAlpine (Fiz Stape) and even Craig Charles (Lloyd Mullaney).
Blackburn, who, up until recently, has been the producer of rival ITV soap Emmerdale since 2011, is replacing Phil Collinson, the brains behind Corrie’s tram crash, the last big push which saw fan favourites Ashley Peacock (played by Steven Arnold) and Molly Dobbs (Vicky Binns) killed off.
The ITV source added: “Stuart’s a safe pair of hands but he’s bursting with ideas of how to get Corrie ratings through the roof.
“He’s done a good job on Emmerdale and can’t wait to get stuck into Coronation Street.
“Sadly that will mean some people will be going out the door. The big question now is who?”
So, who do you think will be up for the chop, and who do you want to see go? We shall start the ball rolling and say Natalie Gumede (Kirsty Soames) and that annoying Barlow kid…. Leave your thoughts and comments below!