'Coronation Street' Christmas episode will be an upbeat alternative to rival soaps, reveals boss

·3-min read
FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO -No Use Before Tuesday 7th December 2021

Coronation Street - Ep 1051718

Saturday 25th December 2021

Having swerved their respective families Nick, Leanne and Sam join Daisy, Emma, Gemma, George, Todd, Bernie Winter [JANE HAZLEGROVE], Dev Alahan [JIMMI HARKISHIN] and Ed at the pop-up bar. Dragging the Rovers’ piano over to the Christmas market, everyone gathers round as Billy launches into song. 

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
William Roache as Ken Barlow in Coronation Street. (ITV)

Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod has revealed that this year’s Christmas episodes will provide an upbeat alternative to rival soap operas.

“There’s a tradition on some soaps of going really dark and gothic at Christmas, and we’ve occasionally dipped our toe into that water. But it’s fair to say that this year is more akin to a traditional Coronation Street Christmas,” he commented at an ITV press conference.

Going on to tease what fans can expect to see, MacLeod said: “It’s funny and silly in places. And it’s really heartwarming and joyous.

Read more: The latest Coronation Street spoilers

“There’s also a really strong community vibe this year because we were able film it at a time where actors didn’t have to stand two metres apart all of the time.

“So it’s got more of a ‘community on the cobbles’ feeling than some previous Christmases. It’s all very family focused.”

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO -No Use Before Tuesday 7th December 2021

Coronation Street - Ep 1051718

Saturday 25th December 2021

Having swerved their respective families Nick, Leanne and Sam join Daisy, Emma, Gemma, George, Todd, Bernie Winter [JANE HAZLEGROVE], Dev Alahan [JIMMI HARKISHIN] and Ed at the pop-up bar. Dragging the Rovers’ piano over to the Christmas market, everyone gathers round as Billy launches into song. 

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Daniel Brocklebank as Billy Mayhew. (ITV)

An hour-long instalment set to be screened on Christmas Day at 8pm, will see Fiz receive an ill-timed kiss from her estranged partner Tyrone, while goth café worker Nina gets a special present from Carla, who’s grown increasingly concerned for her wellbeing.

Plus, Weatherfield vicar Billy is set to launch into song over the Rovers piano, which is dragged over to the local seasonal market.

Of the experience of watching the episode itself, MacLeod admitted: “I first saw it in mid-November when I wasn’t feeling terribly festive.

“But by the end of the hour, I had a mince pie-shaped lump in my throat. And I should say that they were tears of joy rather than misery. It was just a glorious thing. So, I’m really hoping that the audience will like it as much as I did.”

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO -No Use Before Tuesday 7th December 2021

Coronation Street - Ep 1052223

Tuesday 28th December 2021

Tyrone Dobbs [ALAN HALSALL] asserts to Fiz Stape [JENNIE McALPINE] that the house is rightfully his and he’s not selling it 

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Hansell) and Fiz Stape (Jennie McAlpine) (ITV)

But this being a soap, fans can also expect a falling-out amid all the merriment. And while Corrie is keeping tight-lipped as to the identity of those who come to blows, MacLeod revealed that the fracas would be played for comic effect:

“It’s one of the silliest fights I’ve ever seen in anything ever. It involves the immortal line, ‘Smell my marigold', which I’ll leave for you to work out what that might refer to. But it all makes for a fantastically good hour of television.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28:  Iain MacLeod attends the British Soap Awards 2016 at Hackney Empire on May 28, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Iain MacLeod attends the British Soap Awards 2016 (Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

The festive visits to Weatherfield come at the climax of a successful year for the ITV soap, which saw it pick Best Serial Drama at the NTAs, as well as seven prizes at November’s Inside Soap Awards.

“I have to pinch myself sometimes,” MacLeod said of the show’s success, “and also remind myself of the circumstances in which this was all being made. Social distancing, reduced members of staff in studio and fewer characters in scenes. The quality has just been exceptional.

“Everyone connected to Corrie has such determination to keep it at the top of its game, which is a really humbling thing for me to see.”

Watch: Christmas Corrie spoilers

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