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.

 

First look image released for new ITV drama The Sister

Amrita Acharia, Russell Tovey, Bertie Carvel and Simone Ashley (Credit: ITV)

The four-part series, written by Neil Cross, tells the harrowing story of a man trying to escape his past.

Nathan (Russell Tovey), tries to do the right thing but he lacks direction and is carrying a long-buried secret that he is desperate to keep hidden.

Having started a new life as a devoted married man, Nathan’s world is turned upside down when a ghost from his past, Bob (Bertie Carvel, Doctor Foster), turns up on his doorstep.

A first look trailer has been released for ITV drama Quiz

Matthew Macfadyen (Credit: ITV)

The series, adapted from Graham’s play of the same name, explores the story of the ‘coughing major’, which saw Charles (Matthew Macfadyen), Diana Ingram (Sian Clifford) and Tecwen Whittock (Michael Jibson) cheat their way to a million pounds on the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

The “audacious heist” took place in 2001, when Major Ingram was a contestant on the show and with the help of his wife Diana and accomplice Whittock, navigated the notoriously difficult quiz to win the top price.

Liar creators on how to grip an audience

Today’s TV dramas require ever more complex story­lines to attract and satisfy increasingly sophisticated audiences. Yet writers cannot make their thrillers too complicated, or confused audiences will switch off.

This writing dilemma has been successfully negotiated several times by Jack and Harry Williams. They have pulled off the delicate balancing act once again with the second series of the acclaimed ITV show Liar, which is co-produced by SundanceTV.

The creators behind Flesh and Blood on the making of their hit drama

If screenwriter Sarah Williams has proven anything to herself about the art of television storytelling by creating ITV’s high profile Flesh and Blood, it’s the truth of the well-worn phrase: it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.

Four years ago, Williams began with a plan to write a character-based, family series focused on a group of troubled siblings. She came up with the concept following a conversation with Silverprint Pictures’ creative director, Kate Bartlett.