Coronation Street has rubbished tabloid claims that the job of producer Kate Oates is currently in jeopardy following a run of controversial storylines.
A show source is reported to have told The Sun that Corrie boss Oates is a "dead woman walking", adding that, “it’s become a case of not if but when for Kate".
Oates took over at Coronation Street in 2016, with her most notable storylines so far being Pat Phelan's reign of terror and the sexual exploitation of Bethany Platt, the latter of which won star Lucy Fallon at the National Television Awards earlier this week.
But there have been critics of Corrie's darker tone - veteran broadcaster Michael Parkinson commenting to Radio Times last November that Phelan's brutal dispatching of Andy Carver had made him "recoil".
Now, in the wake of The Sun's story, ITV Studios' Creative Director John Whiston has said in a statement to RadioTimes.com:
"In the last two years Kate Oates has transformed Coronation Street in the same way as she transformed Emmerdale when she was there.
"The show is now chock full of gripping, talked-about storylines, is tackling groundbreaking social issues and, most importantly for a commercial channel such as ITV is delivering strong ratings, Coronation Street's audience share is up year on year, an impressive feat for a 57 year old soap on our screens six times a week."
Consolidated ratings for Christmas 2017 saw Coronation Street marginally beat rival EastEnders - the highest-rated Corrie episode netting 8.18million (SD +HD) against 8.13million (SD+HD) for the BBC1 soap, according to figures released by Barb.
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