Reports today suggest that the bosses at Coronation Street are planning to bring a third gay couple onto the cobbles of Weatherfield.
This report has been met with very mixed reactions, one person in particular who has been very vocal is ex-Corrie legend, Jean Alexander – who played Hilda Ogden for 23 years – who is claiming it’s becoming too far-fetched. Jean, now 85, said: “Every community has people who are gay and they are very nice people. I’m not running the Street down – and let’s not forget its creator Tony Warren is gay – but three couples seems excessive.”
Gay rights activists have slammed these comments saying that as far as equality in the soaps goes towards homosexuality, the ‘Street is Streets ahead’.
In the soap at the moment is lesbian couple, Sophie (Brooke Vincent) and Sian (Sacha Parkinson), as well as Sean Tully (Anthony Cotton) who has recently seen his ex, Marcus (Charlie Condou), return to rekindle their love affair. With these main characters, and transsexual Hayley Cropper (Julie Hesmondhalgh), and Eileen Grimshaw’s absent gay son, Todd, some people think that the show might be going over the top with the gay storylines.
Another former star, Nick Cochran who played Andy McDonald – added: “It’s unrealistic. Would one road in a working class area generally produce that number of gay people?”
With ratings falling in almost every soap at the moment, it is not surprising that bosses want to re-invent what has already worked so well, the storyline involving Sophie and Sian, in particular, saw a huge fan base and support network develop overnight by girls who have been helped by the portrayal. But one Corrie insider said: “It’s not a happy place to be at the moment – and there is growing unrest that the show is losing its way,” said the source. “Many cast and crew think the storylines unrealistic.”