New Corrie boss Kate Oates prefers unknown talent to celebrity cameos

(Image credit: Ken McKay/REX/Shutterstock)

New Coronation Street producer Kate Oates says making stars of unknowns is more 'rewarding' than celebrity cameos.

She also dismissed claims that she was set to kill off a number of beloved characters.

Kate, who has replaced Stuart Blackburn, said: “When I read that I laughed. I think the show has a great cast. I know a lot of them already and nobody has cause to be afraid. It’s going to be fine.”

The cast of Coronation Street in 2015

The cast of Coronation Street in 2015 (ITV Pictures)


Speaking to the Daily Star, the 36-year-old also outlined her vision for the long-running ITV soap and stunt casting doesn’t appear to be one of them.

“I think the decisions to do cameo roles were based on storylines at the time. It paid off in that there was some press interest, which is always great. It can work sometimes and sometimes it does not.”

On the same subject, Kate added: “I didn’t do it on Emmerdale. What I liked to do was bring in unknown talent, my own cast.”

“If you look at somebody like Michael Parr, who plays Ross Barton, he was an unknown when we brought him into Emmerdale and that’s really rewarding.”

Kate is aware of the huge expectations that come with being the boss of Coronation Street.

“There is always pressure in a role like this,” she said. “Whatever show you do, you have to make sure people know they can trust you and you’re open to their thoughts and input.”


Just one of numerous big names to have hit the cobbles is Sarah Harding, now competing in Channel 4 series The Jump.

However, the Girls Aloud singer’s four-episode appearance as Joni Preston was slated by viewers on Twitter.

She's no actress that's for sure. Couldn't believe how wooden she was. #HardingDoesCorrie #corrie

— Brett McCormack (@BristolDale1) July 23, 2015


#corrie I was looking forward to seeing Sarah Harding on the cobbles but ouch..!! Looking great but stick to singing love..

— Mellie G (@MelanieGibson1) July 24, 2015


We need to talk about Sarah Harding's "acting" #Corrie

— David (@theboywhoslept) July 23, 2015


Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness also popped up in Corrie as camping enthusiast Dougie Ryan.

Although received more favourably by aficionados than Sarah, his stint could not be called a resounding success.

Conversely, fans still fondly recall the acclaimed performance from Paddy’s long-time friend and colleague, Peter Kay.


The comedian played Eric Gartside, a drayman with an overbearing mother who fancied himself as a potential love interest of Shelley Unwin (Sally Lindsay).

And let’s not forget Sir Ian McKellen’s marvellous three-week stint as conman Mel Hutchwright in 2005.


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