December might seem like a long way off, seeing as the Christmas decorations are barely packed away, but Coronation Street fans are already counting down to the end of 2020 when the soap reaches it’s 60th anniversary, and RadioTimes.com has heard some intriguing early teasers about ITV plans to mark the occasion.
The world’s long-running soap opera began on 9th December 1960 and practically invented the genre of continuing drama as we know it today. Producer Iain MacLeod acknowledges the weight of expectation on delivering a suitably big celebration for the loyal audience, and while he won’t be drawn on the specifics he does drop some juicy hints…
“What can I tell you about the 60th anniversary? Not a lot at this point for reasons of secrecy, so forgive me for being cryptic!” he laughed as he discussed the big stories ahead in 2020. “We’ve thought long and hard about what we want from this astonishing landmark, and the expectation from the audience now is that there is a spectacle attached to it, but with character-driven stuff within that.
“Right now we have some novel, fairly left-field ideas with elements of genre-bending that we are currently exploring. It’s exciting.”
The bar was set high with the 50th birthday back in 2010, when a tram careered off the viaduct and crashed into the street, causing death, destruction and satisfying chaos befitting the golden anniversary. A live episode was also shown on the day itself, one of three this century in addition to the 40th anniversary in 2000 and another in recognition of ITV’s 60 years on air in 2015.
Quite what the promised ‘genre-bending’ will amount to is anyone’s guess, especially considering the current fad for all the soaps to experiment with the rules of the format – see EastEnders’ New Year’s Day flashback, Hollyoaks’ New Year’s Eve flash forward to the future and Emmerdale’s upcoming week telling the same story from five different perspectives.
From what MacLeod says, can we assume there will be a stunt along the lines of the tram incident? Or something along the lines of Carla Connor’s groundbreaking point of view episode from 2019 that followed her psychological breakdown as she hallucinated Rana Habeeb had come back from the dead?
Before the big six-oh in December, Corrie notches up 10,000 episodes next month which, of course, MacLeod assures us will not go unnoticed.
“At the start of this year we have our 10,000thepisode which we are also intending to mark in a way that is Corrie to the core, with a laconic, comedic and character-driven vibe.”