‘It’s the closest thing my family has to religion’: Guardian readers on Coronation Street

<span>‘It used to have a heart’: Julie Goodyear as Bet Gilroy and Sarah Lancashire as Raquel Woltenholme in Coronation Street, 1994.</span><span>Photograph: ITV/Shutterstock</span>
‘It used to have a heart’: Julie Goodyear as Bet Gilroy and Sarah Lancashire as Raquel Woltenholme in Coronation Street, 1994.Photograph: ITV/Shutterstock

After more than six decades on our screens, the world’s longest-running TV soap Coronation Street has become something of a national institution. Since it first aired in 1960, the show has built up a fiercely loyal fanbase not only in Britain but around the world, proving particularly popular among audiences in Canada and New Zealand. But recently some fans have become increasingly disillusioned. From an over reliance on issues-based plots to its warm familiarity, readers tell us what they think about Coronation Street in 2024.

I’m not convinced it deserves the tirade it’s currently getting

I’ve watched Corrie since I can recall. It has always had memorable characters, who were distinct in most qualities. The remaining characters – longstanding ones – are one of the reasons I enjoy it. I’m quite faithful to Corrie. The quality of the scripts is variable and often can be really didactic – which is insulting at times. The production team have freshened up several of the sets and it’s looking really smart.

I find the unpredictable scheduling a real pain as you never know from week to week which nights it’s on. I’m not saying Corrie is perfect, but I’m not convinced that it deserves the tirade it’s currently getting. John Cotgrave, 51, secondary school teacher, Huddersfield

‘It’s removed from normal, working-class, Mancunian life’

I’ve been watching Coronation Street all my life with my mother and grandmother. It’s the closest thing my family has to religion.

It’s not very fashionable to be a man my age and watch soaps, but I was always drawn to the larger-than-life characters and sharp, witty dialogue. It’s lost focus on what is important – characters that the viewer cares about, having relatable experiences.

Characters are rewritten to fit the plot, rather than stories emerging organically from interactions in the Rovers or the cafe. Corrie has become too far removed from normal, working-class, Mancunian life, instead it’s mimicking a post-watershed drama with endless guns, gangsters, and misery.

The cast numbers need to be cut, the episode count should be reduced, and the writers should get back to focusing on writing warm, entertaining characters that feel authentic. Give us more Fred Elliotts and Hilda Ogdens, and fewer Harvey Gaskells and Damon Hays. Charles Burns, 30, systems administrator, Bristol

‘A good balance of humour alongside serious topics’

I still love watching it because they have relevant story lines to daily life – dealing with different disabilities and the toll this takes on families and communities. There are many storylines which are handled really well, incorporating some lighthearted moments within serious topics. It gives a really good balance of raising issues and their difficulties but with a touch of humour. Alison Bower, 55, full-time carer, West Yorkshire

‘There are just too many characters in the show’

My earliest memories of Corrie are from the early 00s, and I’ve been an avid viewer ever since. While I believe 2024 is off to a stronger start than 2023 was, I do think the show has lost its way a bit.

It’s missing some of that classic Corrie humour, and relying too heavily on dark storylines. The cast is also incredibly overstuffed, and while I appreciate a cast cull would be unfair on actors, there are too many characters at present.

I still watch without fail, but I’m finding it harder and harder to defend the show. Corrie needs to go back to the basics – focus on classic soap drama and remember that it’s a show about community. I also believe the constant storylines of this type mean the aftermath falls flat. Amy barely got any aftermath to her rape, and I’ve been incredibly disappointed that Daisy ended up with a trauma bond instead of actually dealing with her trauma. There are glimpses of hope in recent episodes, and I’m hopeful it can find its way again. Vicky French, Middlesbrough

‘Legacy characters have been sidelined and turned into jokes’

While Corrie hasn’t been anywhere near its best in recent years it remains a firm fixture in my TV guide. Despite its faults it still has its good points. For one thing, there are many longstanding characters on the show who are well-established household names, even to those who have switched off over the last decade.

A prime example would be Gail played by Helen Worth, who is one of the best actors the show has ever had in my opinion, and has been sidelined for a very long time. She only every gets seen when there is drama within the family and even then she is treated like a joke. This can be said for many other characters who have turned into caricatures of themselves.

Something I would love the soap to do more of is location filming. Take the characters out on journeys, let’s see them have fun and we will enjoy them more. Let’s see something nice happen for a change before the credits roll. Rhys Jones, Stoke-on-Trent

‘I feel sorry for the cast having to film these scenes’

I’m a lifelong Coronation Street watcher. It used to be so funny and it had heart. But in recent years it’s generally lost its humour and is mostly doom and gloom.

The upcoming storyline involving Toyah [spoiler alert: she buried a stillborn baby in a park 20 years ago after her rape ordeal] is particularly dark, and makes no sense as she was on screen in the early 2000s. It’s the writers trying to be sensationalist. I actually feel sorry for the cast and crew having to film these scenes, I suspect they have no choice but to go along with it. Natasha Rose, 28, Kent

‘I still love it’

I have a strong emotional connection to Coronation Street – and very fond childhood memories of being allowed to stay up late to watch with my mam on her night off (my parents ran a pub). I still love it now. It has evolved with the times and the actors are still great. Roy Cropper is an angel on Earth. Social issues are dealt with in depth and with sensitivity (not sensationalised in the way that EastEnders tends to). I miss the black humour from the Archie Shuttleworth and Blanche Hunt era, but it still has great comedic moments. There’s a warm familiarity that I’ve felt since I was a kid that remains to this day. I couldn’t imagine ever not watching it. My Saturday morning ritual is the Corrie omnibus – it’s a comfort blanket to me. Mandy Rowson, picture editor, London