Phil Collinson, the person entrusted with producing Coronation Street as it approaches its fiftieth anniversary, promises big stories and unexpected directions for the world's longest-surviving soap opera.
Collinson, 40, officially took over as producer of the British-produced soap opera in July 2010, when he announced that a tram crash would be the highlight of the Street's golden-jubilee celebrations, killing off a significant number of its current characters.
But the destruction and mayhem won't stop there. Talking to Radio Times listings magazine, Collinson promises that what happens in December will only be the start of a number of story lines that will spin off from the crash, and in directions that will surprise viewers. He says:
We're steaming towards December with five or six really big stories that the tram crash sends off in entirely unexpected directions. We want the audience that tunes in for the anniversary week to stay on and start the next 50 years with us. We're celebrating something that's half a century old, but we're not saying, "Look at this old thing" [but] "Look at what this show can still do after all these years."
Collinson secured his reputation as a producer of note during his time on the BBC's Doctor Who. There, he worked alongside Russell T Davies (Queer as Folk, Torchwood), and its this, the magazine speculates, that led ITV to entrust him with working on Coronation Street's anniversary year.
The Mill – a CGI company that works in the film and television industries, and collaborated with Collinson during his time on Doctor Who – has been hired to help achieve a realistic tram-crash effect for the soap.
Record breakingCoronation Street was first broadcast 9 December, 1960. It became the world's longest-running television soap opera still in production when As the World Turnedended it's 56-year run on 17 September 2010. However, Corrie, as it is affectionately known by its fans, will need to continue for another 12 years to beat the record currently held by Guiding Light, which ran for 62 years until it was cancelled in 2009.