Coronation Street has “no intention” of ditching older characters amid coronavirus storyline changes

Maureen Lipman has it straight from the producers' mouth

Maureen Lipman Coronation Street

With Coronation Street planning to resume filming in June the soap will have to work within new guidelines brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, with one of the suggested changes being a reduction in how much older cast members are used.

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But according to Maureen Lipman, who plays battle-axe Evelyn Plummer, the show is not about to start neglecting their senior characters.

In an interview on the Jewish News podcast, the actress said: “I had a word with the producer last week online and I said: ‘Don’t ditch the oldies because the oldies is what Corrie is all about’.

“They said: ‘Oh no we’ve no intention of doing that’, so I said: ‘Why don’t you just let me and Roy Cropper sit in a garden somewhere and have a conversation about Donald Trump’s hair?’ We could film it in a garden in Hampstead, it could be anywhere.

“I think they’re planning to start again in June but I don’t know when they’ll bring the oldies back.”

Lipman, 74, also shed light on how changes to the show will be noticed on and off screen: “There will be less storylines, a concentration on a narrow panel of actors so you’ll see less people each week and I think there’ll be less episodes each week.

“One camera crew will work on one story and we’ll never meet. How we’ll do the make-up I don’t know – long garden shears, perhaps?!”

coronation street evelyn plummer arthur medwin

Corrie, along with Emmerdale, EastEnders and Hollyoaks, paused filming days before the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March, but with a gradual easing of restrictions and new government advice on making workplaces safe the UK’s soaps are expected to start back up again next month, with strict guidelines on social distancing in place to ensure the safety of cast and crew.

The shows are said to be in discussion with others across the industry on a ‘return-to-production protocol’ and are consulting with the government.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival in April, ITV’s Director of Television Kevin Lygo said both the channel’s soaps would not be up and running again “until we are convinced it is safe, we don’t want to put any of our staff, cast or crew at risk.” He also implied senior cast members, whose health is potentially more vulnerable, may not return immediately.

“Some people who are in a dangerous zone, by age or health reasons, won’t be there, I’m sure, for a time. I don’t want Ken Barlow to get sick on my watch – we will be very careful and mindful about that sort of thing.”

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