THERE’S a regular Coronation Street kite flyer in one of the tabloids today.
The headline screams: “Corrie’s legends face large axe.”
It’s an old favourite on a quiet news day.
Wait for a new producer to arrive, in this case Kim Crowther.
Add in whatever you want in terms of cast members facing the axe – young, old or Schmeichel the dog.
And then stir.
It won’t surprise you to learn that today’s story is a load of old hot pot.
Up to five of Weatherfield’s longest serving actors could be gone by the end of the year, it claims.
It’s billed as both a “cost-cutting cull” and a move to “freshen up” the soap.
“Every star will meet new producer Kim Crowther to discuss their future,” the story adds.
And there are several quotes from that friend of tabloid speculation – the unnamed “on-set source”.
Rest assured. If at first glance it looks like manufactured nonsense, then it probably is.
Kim, who took over four weeks ago, knows the cobbles well.
She first joined the Street as a script editor in 2001 and later became series editor.
And like most Corrie fans, she appreciates the value of all that grey power balanced against the young ‘uns.
A Coronation Street spokeswoman told me this morning: “When a new producer arrives, all cast members obviously meet with her at some point to discuss their character.
“But there are no plans for any departures at the moment.”
Of course, characters will come and go as part of the natural turnover of the show.
For example, Charlie Condou, who plays Sean’s midwife boyfriend Marcus Dent, announced this week that he will be leaving later this year.
And you would expect any new Coronation Street producer to have a long-term view on which characters are working and which are not.
Fans of the show will also have their own thoughts on the future of some of the more fringe characters and one or two of the newer arrivals.
But talk of a grey cull is wide of the mark.
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