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.

 

The rise and rise of daytime TV

This Morning's 30th anniversary episode saw the show's biggest audience for nine years (Credit: ITV)

Daytime TV has long been the butt of comedians’ jokes. In an episode of Mock the Week last year, Hugh Dennis pretended to be a weary daytime announcer: “Well, because they’re all the same, and I can’t be bothered to announce them all, here’s Flog Dickinson’s Antiques Sun Hammer Pointless Breakout in the Country… finishes at 5pm.”

TV picks of the week: 29 October - 4 November

Crow's Blood (Credit: Channel 4)

Black Earth Rising

Monday: BBC Two, 9.00pm


Michaela Coel (Credit: BBC)

The thrilling political drama comes to a close with a key villain finally being unmasked. Kate (Michaela Coel) also finds what she’s been looking for. A collective guilt hangs over her and Michael (John Goodman) over the Rwandan genocide and the reprisals that saw Hutu refugees massacred in camps.

RTS Midlands launches its first Careers Fair

(Credit: John Bray)

Panel sessions took place throughout the day at the RTS event. “The secrets behind TV sport”, hosted by BBC WM presenter Richard Wilford, featured Sports Personality of the Year deputy editor Michael Jackson, BBC sports news correspondent Natalie Pirks and BBC Sport editor Jo McCusker, who offered advice to budding sports broadcasters.

ITV launches Comedy 50:50 initiative for female writers

The initiative seeks to put measures in place to address the gender imbalance in comedy on television.

ITV’s Controller of Comedy Saskia Schuster hosted the launch event supported by the RTS, The Writers' Guild, Era 50:50, Funny Women and BAFTA on 18th October.

Producers, writers and agents were able to network at the event, with each producer hosting introductory meetings with female writers.

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall talks creativity and brand

Carolyn McCall talking to Tim Hicks (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

As a programme supplier to ITV, Expectation co-founder Tim Hincks felt he had to deny that he might pull some pun­ches when interviewing ITV CEO Carolyn McCall. He announced to laughter that he would be asking her all the difficult questions, such as “where she went on holiday and what her favourite colour is.… I will absolutely go for it.”

McCall looked relieved at the distraction of Hincks’s humour as she was appearing at her first RTS London conference just two days after reports that the broadcaster might be bidding for Endemol Shine Group (ESG).

Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton to star in ITV drama A Confession

Imelda Staunton previously starred in Finding Your Feed (Credit: Sky Cinema/Entertainment One)

Based on a true story, the six-part drama focuses on Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher (Martin Freeman), who breached police protocol to catch a killer, costing him his career.

Following the disappearance of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan in Swindon in 2011, Fulcher launched an investigation to find her, believing that someone may be holding her against her will.