10 ways to fix Coronation Street

As we ready ourselves for a new regime in Weatherfield, David Brown looks at some strategies for improving Corrie

With a new broom coming in at Corrie as Emmerdale boss Kate Oates takes over, we suggest ten ways in which new life could be injected into life on the Street…

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1. Drop the under-performing characters
The Nazirs have been in search of a purpose ever since they arrived. The exit of Kal didn’t help and neither did ‘comedy’ plotlines like the one concerning their pet chickens. Also, Erica Holroyd has never had any chemistry with Nick, while Fake Andy/Gavin has hardly made much of an impact.

2. No more repetitive plotlines
Let’s have a break from mad mums snatching kids and tortured murderers wrestling with their conscience. And can we stop the Street from being set on fire every few months as well, please? The Victoria Court blaze should be the last for a good long time.

3. Keep track of continuity
Plotlines are currently being burned through so quickly that key facts keep on being forgotten about. Kevin Webster’s dead son Jake erased from memory, Tim being seen with a newspaper despite not having the ability to read, plus Sinead going on a gruelling survival weekend with Paddy McGuinness despite only just learning to walk again…

4. Too much Platts
Much as we love Gail’s clan, must they be involved in all the storylines? For the last year or so, it’s been David and Callum, Gail and Michael, Nick and Erica and – pretty soon – Audrey and Ken. Spread the Corrie love around and give us more comedy with Dev, Rita or Norris. And something more substantial for Liz than just being cheated on by no-good men.

5. Stop the stunt casting
Sarah Harding. Enough said.

6. Go back to basics
Fewer episodes per week might be a good place to start (slipping in an extra instalment in on a Thursday, for instance, is unnecessary). But also, where has that mix of wry humour, pathos and human drama gone? Corrie has always been at its best when you see matriarchal women gossiping at the bar about the fecklessness of their fellas.

And while big stunts can be great, it’s best that they don’t ill serve the characters involved. Killing Tina for the sake of having Rob live with the guilt was a waste, while the minibus crash only undermined the previously mature way in which Steve’s declining mental health had been handled.

7. Sprinkle some of that Emmerdale magic
One of the joys of the Dales-set soap has been its ability to branch its storylines off in unexpected directions while retaining the sense of a cohesive whole. So Robert has an affair with Aaron, Robert kills Katie and makes Aaron complicit, Chrissie finds out about Robert’s affair and ends up accidentally causing the helicopter crash, which then gives her a motive for shooting Robert. See how it’s done? Each storyline has the potential to spin-off into something fresh.

With Corrie, there has been none of that lately. Plots come to a crashing halt with no explanation given: Roy’s anger-management, Carla’s gambling, Anna’s money worries – now all barely mentioned.

8. Build on what has worked
OK, so it’s not all been bad. Sally’s relationship with Tim is fun, while Tony Stewart is the most convincing alpha male since the days of Len Fairclough. Keep Steve and Michelle together. And Nick Tilsley’s unpredictability since his brain injury also seemed to be working well. Don’t go back to him being bland, boring Nick again.

9. Introduce a new Street siren
With Alison King set to take a 12-month break, this feels like a necessity. Or, at the very least, reintroduce the same air of sexiness that had us all going potty for Elsie Tanner or Deirdre’s affair with Mike. Make Michelle less downtrodden behind the bar and give Todd a new love interest, for heaven’s sake.

10. Pay homage to the past
You have a 55-year history to play with, so why not mine it for all its worth? Get Toyah Battersby back, recast Adam Barlow, bring in one of Dev’s illegitimate offspring, have Mary’s never-before-seen mum pay her a visit. And for the love of all things Weatherfield…do what it takes to reinstall Peter as a permanent fixture!

Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.

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