Coronation Street’s sixth weekly episode will broadcast on Wednesdays at 8.30pm from 20 September, ITV confirmed today.
The announcement comes over a year after an extra helping of Weatherfield drama was promised by channel boss Kevin Lygo, shortly after he become ITV’s director of television.
Fans will now be treated to a double helping of the world’s longest-running soap opera three nights a week, with the Wednesday pattern following the established double bill on Mondays and Fridays, with two episodes showing with a half hour break in between at 7.30pm and 8.30pm.
The first week of the new six-episode schedule kicks off in suitably spectacular style with the double wedding of Aidan Connor and Eva Price sharing nuptials with Aidan’s dad Johnny Connor and Jenny Bradley.
Aidan will finally confess his infidelity with Maria Connor to Eva, but just as it seems Eva has decided to go ahead with the wedding Maria gatecrashes the ceremony leading to a stunt-filled showdown as the love triangle explodes.
Other big storylines in store for the special week include Michelle Connor making a chilling discovery about her ex-boyfriend and secret stalker Will Chatterton, a desperate hospital dash for ailing Rita Tanner, and Jim Moir (aka comedian Vic Reeves) making his Corrie debut as Colin Callen, flamboyant host of the quiz show behind Norris and Mary Cole’s decision to stage a sham wedding.
Speculation has been rife as to where the additional instalment would fit into the schedule, with recent airings on Sundays indicating that could be the home of the new slot, but the weekend broadcast was only to accommodate disruption in the normal scheduling pattern due to recent football coverage on the channel.
The Coronation Street production team have been working over the last year to expand the set and studio space to allow for the increase in output, with producer Kate Oates exclusively revealing recently to RadioTimes.com the extension of the fictional community would be first seen on screen in spring 2018.
Oates took over as the producer of Coronation Street in spring 2016, and was previously at the helm of fellow ITV soap Emmerdale which has broadcast six episodes a week for over a decade.
Discussing the news at the soap’s Salford studios today, the show’s executive producer Kieran Roberts said: “We’re thrilled to be launching our extra weekly episode after more than a year of hard work from our amazing team on everything from story lining to studio building. We’ve added brilliant new writers, introduced new characters and brought back some favourites and have created more than 40 new production jobs in Manchester’s MediaCity.
“Coronation Street is absolutely ready with our sixth weekly episode and I’m very pleased that it will be a double Wednesday treat. Our first week in this new pattern is truly unmissable, with heartstopping drama, heartbreaking emotion and heartwarming comedy.”
Coronation Street transmitted twice a week when it started on Friday 9 December 1960. It moved to three episodes from October 1989 before adding a fourth weekly episode in November 1996 and finally increasing to a fifth regular instalment in October 2002.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.