IT’S not exactly a mass exodus.
But Coronation Street confirmed today that seven cast members have been axed by new producer Kim Crowther.
Fans of the cobbles won’t be surprised to learn their identities.
The entire Morton clan, led by kebab shop owner Jerry, is going.
Also departing Weatherfield are father and son bookies Harry and Dan Mason.
I spoke to ITV Granada earlier today about the decisions.
Michael Starke played Sinbad in Brookside for 16 years.
But news of his eventual departure as Jerry comes just over a year after the character was first seen on screen.
Many viewers felt the Mortons failed to fit in to the Weatherfield soap jigsaw.
Which is a shame, because I grew to like Jerry, along with Darryl (Johnny Dixon) and Mel (Emma Edmondson).
Grandad Morton (Rodney Litchfield) jarred from the outset and appears to have been gradually phased out from what little he had to do.
His name is missing from the list of departing characters, presumably because he has effectively already left.
Two others being axed are young Kayleigh (Jessica Bardon) and Finlay (Ramone Quinn), who were always fringe characters with no major storylines.
Perhaps Samantha Seager saw the writing on the wall when she quit the role of eldest Morton daughter Jodie.
Sadly, bookies Harry (Jack Ellis) and Dan (Matthew Crompton) were hard to love.
One scene in particular, where Dan discussed his love life, was bizarre in the extreme and simply didn’t belong in Corrie.
That’s not the fault of the actors, of course. They have to work with the scripts they are given.
But is was a sign that the writers may also have been struggling to find a place for flash Harry and his son.
Having said that, I was also warming to the characters – with Harry setting his sights on Liz McDonald and Dan at the centre of the current arson storyline involving Leanne and Paul.
All the axed characters will be seen on screen until September or October, with storylines still to be played out.
The departure of Ian Reddington as drummer, Rovers’ pot man and Liz’s hubbie Vernon, is separate to the cast cull.
He will leave the cobbles in September to work on a play in London and panto in Darlington.
Producer Kim said: “Coronation Street has always had a tradition of characters who come into the show as catalysts to play out stories alongside more established characters before moving on.
“As in any community, there are people who live there for many years and people who pass through.
“We still have some interesting storylines to play with these characters before they leave Weatherfield. They are all very talented actors and we wish them well for the future.”
Coronation Street Blogs
Coronation Street: Flaming Nora