Can you imagine Phil Mitchell ordering a pint in the Rovers? Or Cain Dingle getting hired as the new Webster’s Autos mechanic? And what about Sienna Blake turning the Viaduct Bistro into a high end vintage tea room? Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod has considered all these unlikely scenarios as part of his hypothetical soap swap daydreams…
When asked which characters from rival shows he’d like to see on the cobbles, just for the day and just for kicks, the show boss had a list, starting with the anti-hero from the show he used to helm:
“The character with the most enduring popularity, no matter what they do or who they do it to, is Cain Dingle,” he revealed to RadioTimes.com. “Seeing Corrie’s tough guy Gary Windass go up against Cain would be interesting.
“There are characters across all the shows that I love,” he continued. “I love Sienna Blake in Hollyoaks, Anna Passey is a fantastic actor and has drawn this incredibly complex character that I had some hand at steering at various times (MacLeod has also worked at Hollyoaks, prior to Emmerdale and Corrie).
“Sienna could start a crisis in an empty room – she was very useful story-wise because you could have her do anything, so I think seeing her step off the Weatherfield Wayfarer bus and have her cause some kind of chaos would be good fun.”
In the interest of fairness, MacLeod picks a Walford icon to round out his fantasy of continuing drama crossover: “Who would turn down Phil Mitchell? Steve McFadden is an incredibly good, and often underrated, actor. He’s done some really brilliant, hard-hitting serious stuff but is also another alpha male who would threaten to upset the applecart if he came to the cobbles.”
It’s no coincidence all three characters have a history of, shall we say, volatile behaviour. “Bryan Kirkwood (Hollyoaks executive producer) is a very shrewd observer of the workings of soap, and when I was at Hollyoaks I remember him explaining you could have numerous villains all in the show at one time, and the way to sustain it is by having different types of villainy going on so they’re not rereading on each other’s toes.
“You need antagonists, that’s where the stories come from. You need people to steal that wallet that’s been left on the table, characters who are slightly wired wrong – I’m thinking mostly of Sienna when I say that! But there is also a pathos to those three as well. Phil has vulnerabilities and addiction issues and has played fantastic emotional stories, but on the flip side he can be an antagonist as well.
“Cain is much the same, he has done horrendous things over the years but is fiercely loyal to his family and has a new level of vulnerability to him since his mum Faith came into the picture. We’ve seen almost childlike elements of him recently.
“So I like people who are sort of damaged but ultimately complicated and interesting. That’s the business of drama, I suppose.”
Now we’re imagining this we desperately want it to happen. Snobby Sally Metcalfe would want to be Sienna’s BFF, for sure.
Visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.