Coronation Street boss says it would be a 'fantasy land' if Covid-19 didn’t strike the cobbles

Coronation Street
(Image credit: ITV)

The Rovers could be shut for a very long time

Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod has revealed that the coronavirus will reach the cobbles.

“Ultimately the Coronation Street we love is the one which reflects modern Britain, in a heightened way,” explained Iain of his decision, in the virtual press conference on Tuesday 5 May.

“If there was no coronavirus in Coronation Street it would stop being a reflection of modern Britain and instead would be a parallel fantasy land so we took the view it has to exist in our world.”

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Corrie characters will be seen social distancing in places like the kebab shop (Image credit: Andrew Boyce)

Currently, the storylines playing out on our screens were filmed pre-lockdown and have been running as normal with no sign of the pandemic which has turned the UK and the rest of the world on its head.

The virus will play out in behaviours rather than see scenes of social isolation, it is thought, to avoid it "dominating" the soap.

“You will be able to see evidence of it [the virus] in the way people behave, hand-washing protocols and the way our businesses run – there will be more takeaways and the like as food outlets are doing in the real world.

“It will be handled with a light touch but other than that our storytelling will be business as usual,” Iain confirmed.

“I am aware people tune in to Corrie for escapism to some degree and to see drama and stories they wouldn’t normally experience in their own lives played out their living rooms. But while the virus will exist we were keen it wouldn’t dominate every story and every scene.

“People want to watch drama and the same hard-hitting stories Corrie does so well, they don’t want to suddenly be watching a different programme as it would lose its reassuring value.”

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It's unlikely anyone will be seen enjoying a pint in the Rovers in the usual fashion when filming returns

The Corrie boss explained he’d given a lot of thought to the decision to include the pandemic.

“People enjoy seeing people overcoming adversity, and in the best tradition of Coronation Street stories that’s what we will be doing,” said Iain.

“However hard things get there will be an optimistic ending that’s the way our show works. We won’t deviate from what we would had done had there been no pandemic but we will make sure the good guys win in the end.”

Coronation Street continues on ITV.


Sarah Waterfall
Soaps Editor at What's On TV

Sarah has been writing about soaps for over 20 years! She’s worked for Hello!, WOMAN, PA News, Closer, TVeasy – and is currently What’s On TV's Soap editor as well as writing for 

She’s interviewed tons of famous people from movie stars to pop stars, TV stars and of course, soap stars. The soaps have always been at the heart of Sarah's work; visiting the sets, getting the goss, and writing about all the soapy shenanigans week in week out, earning her a place on the judging panel for The British Soap Awards in 2017 and 2018 and on the BAFTA TV Awards in 2022 … and the nickname Soapbird!