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.

 

ITV's Carolyn McCall: Flying the flag for PSB

Carolyn McCall offered a robust defence of public service broadcasting during the course of a revealing and wide-ranging interview at the RTS Digital Convention 2020. ITV’s CEO – who was probed by ITV News London and Loose Women presenter Charlene White – also discussed the Black Lives Matter movement, BritBox, ITV’s digital strategy and its response to the corona­virus epidemic.

McCall said that the first Covid-19 lockdown had “brought home to a lot of people” the importance of having “a trusted [TV] source, [with no] disinformation”.

ITV's pledge to transform inclusivity

In September, when dance troupe Diversity took to the stage for prime-time TV’s most controversial four minutes of 2020, one woman was watching especially intently – Ade Rawcliffe, ITV’s freshly promoted group director of diversity and inclusion.

“I was told they were going to do the dance. I thought it was incredibly moving, a wonderful creative expression,” she says of the group’s routine inspired by some of the year’s seminal events, not least the global Black Lives Matter protests.

New drama Manhunt II: The Night Stalker heads to ITV

Clunes will reprise his role as the former London Metropolitan Police detective, DCI Colin Sutton, this time in pursuit of a notorious serial rapist who has been terrorising elderly people in south east London for 17 years.

Based on Sutton’s real life diaries, the series will recount the steps he took to serve justice.

Writer Ed Whitmore also wrote the first series, which told the real life story of the murder Amelie Delagrange on Twickenham Green in 2004.

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! 2020 line-up revealed

The announcement came during Sunday’s 20th anniversary special that saw presenters Ant and Dec suffer the infamous Bush Tucker Trials for the first time.

Due to current lockdown restrictions, the producers have moved the series from the Australian outback to Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales.

A far cry from the usual sweaty base camp, the following celebrities are bracing themselves for a royally cold Welsh winter.

McFly reveal all in new ITV documentary McFly: All About Us

In their most open interviews to date, Tom, Danny, Dougie and Harry speak candidly of the origins of the band, the collaboration with Busted for McBusted and the real reason for the band’s break.

With unseen archival footage and honest conversations between the band members, the film will piece together their personal and professional highs and lows, from their rise as teenage pop stars to selling over 10 million records worldwide.

ITV has commissioned new crime drama The Yorkshire Ripper

The true crime drama, written by George Kay, will uncover the shocking cat and mouse hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, also known as The Yorkshire Ripper, which was one of the biggest manhunts in British history.

The hunt for the Sutcliffe took place between October 1975 and January 1981, involving thousands of police officers and forever changed the British police force.

The six-part series is based on the book Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper by Michael Bilton and is produced by New Pictures.