ITV

The Secret of Soaps: The Story Behind the Stories

No one could accuse Coronation Street of taking it easy, even though this would be understandable for a middle-aged British telly institution. Over the last couple of years the ITV soap has given viewers multiple murders, deaths and suicides; explosions and a minibus crash; a pre-teen pregnancy; and even a gay vicar.

Audiences have been lapping up the drama, which regularly attracts more than 7 million viewers. Corrie remains the nation’s favourite soap.

Ten things you might not know about Coronation Street

Helen Worth as Gail Platt (Credit: ITV)

 

1. The Rovers by numbers

Everyone's favourite local watering hole the Rovers Return Inn may seem like a fake pub, but staff still pull a hefty number of pints each week, and Betty's famous hotpot lives on long after actress Betty Driver passed away in 2011. Weekly, The Rovers serves up 1,440 pints, 100 gin and tonics, and 84 hotpots - as well as 2,500 bags of crisps per year. The beer served is actually very weak - and very sweet - shandy, and the gin and tonics are just fizzy water and lime.

 

Red Planet Pictures hunts for aspiring screenwriters

Writers are invited to submit a spec script and the prize winner will receive a script commission and development opportunities with ITV.

The competition, which first launched in 2007, is designed to find the next generation of writing talent and entrants are asked to “think big, think bold, think how they can make their ideas stand out in a competitive marketplace.”

ITV announces Coronation Street partnerships with Costa Coffee and Co-op

Coronation Street

Each brand will also open a shop, with the facades due to open for business this spring. Cups, bags, posters and other products will also be integrated into an extended Weatherfield set.

Mark Trinder, Sales Director, ITV said: “Incorporating product placement on this scale is something we have wanted to do for some time and we’re delighted with this exciting opportunity.

What lies ahead for ITV's new CEO Carolyn McCall

For many people working in TV, the only opportunity they have had to observe Carolyn McCall has been at The Guardian’s annual post-MacTaggart lecture dinners, held at the Edinburgh TV festival.

As the newspaper’s Chief Executive, she co-hosted the events alongside then-editor, Alan Rusbridger. This lack of visibility in TV circles is about to change as she prepares to take over as the first female head of ITV.