Coronation Street producer Kate Oates has admitted that the ITV soap’s current plotlines are dividing viewers.
Speaking at the Radio Times Covers Party, show boss Oates said: “I realise that, at the moment, Corrie is divisive. I love the old-school viewers because they’re key to our audience.
“But the audience is changing – the dynamic needs to move and shift. It’s all about keeping current with what people want. As long as we cater for everyone in the mix, then I think we’re doing OK.”
Both Pat Phelan’s reign of terror and Bethany Platt’s sexual exploitation plotline have generated complaints to broadcasting regulator Ofcom, while veteran broadcaster Michael Parkinson commented in RT recently that Corrie had made him “recoil”.
However, Lucy Fallon – who plays Bethany – was recently seen winning Best Serial Drama Performance at the National Television Awards.
On the dark tone of Coronation Street, Oates said: “I will quite happily accept that it’s darker. But I do think that we’ve got a good balance – what I enjoy best about that dramatic mix is when you’ve got comedy within the darkness.
“I’ve never been a fan of slapstick. I’ve never been a fan of ‘comedy strands’. But I like dark humour and gallows humour.
“Yes, sometimes the show is dark – certainly the Phelan story in particular. But we balance it out. We’ve got a good overview of what we want the show to be about.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s drama on Coronation Street below