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 trailer drops for new ITV police drama Wild Bill

Rob Lowe (Credit: ITV)

The six-part drama follows Lowe as he lands in Boston, Lincolnshire, along with his troubled 14-year-old daughter Kelsey, both whom are running from a painful past.

The new move is anything but easy, as the trailer shows Lowe struggling to win the trust of the local community, his own frustrations bubbling over as he curses what he calls a “godforsaken cabbage patch”.

BritBox: Traditional media's answer to US streaming giants

Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman) in Victoria (Credit: ITV)

It seems only a few short years ago that the BBC and ITV were thought of as the titans of British media. But all of us in the UK’s traditional media solar system are getting smaller and smaller in the Apple, Amazon and Netflix universe.” Thus said Lord Hall, Director-General of the BBC, in March, as he unveiled the corporation’s plans for its new financial year.

“We need to find new ways to adapt to the changing needs of our audiences, and we need to be able to do it in real time to keep pace with our global competitors,” he continued.

Sir Trevor McDonald and Julie Etchingham mark the 20th anniversary of Tonight at RTS North West

Sir Trevor McDonald and Julie Etchingham (Credit: Claire Harrison)

Many of the show’s team past and present, together with some of its legions of fans, packed the Lowry’s Compass Room at an RTS North West event in early April to celebrate – alongside Tonight’s first host Sir Trevor McDonald – the show’s 20th anniversary.

ITV news chief Michael Jermey outlined “the alchemy which makes the show so successful”. Tonight, which has always been made in the North West, “has never been part of the ‘London bubble’,” he argued. “Its roots [are] in the ITV heartland.”

ITV announces childhood development series Planet Child

The documentary series will observe children aged four to seven from around the world, looking at the new generation of children from the UK, Japan, Africa and America to see how childhood development varies across different locations and landscapes.

Filmed over two years, the three-part series will explore the children’s attitudes and behaviour in response to different challenges affecting their development, including gender awareness, independence, morality and risk-taking.