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Coronation Street's Iain MacLeod teases Kelly Neelan’s explosive exit with first-ever Hollywood stunt in the soap world

Behind the scenes filming Kelly Neelan's exit stunt on Coronation Street
Coronation Street's Iain MacLeod has teased some Hollywood details to Kelly Neelan's exit. (Image credit: ITV)

Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod has revealed some exciting details about Kelly Neelan’s (Millie Gibson) explosive exit storyline where they used spectacular Hollywood technology to create an epic stunt — a first in the soap world.

It has been officially confirmed that Millie will be leaving Coronation Street as Kelly after three years on the cobbles.

As her impending exit looms, details are being kept under wraps about her exit storyline, but fans are hoping that she will discover Gary Windass’ (Mikey North) secret that he killed her father, Rick.

With Kelly becoming one of the most-loved characters in the soap, it seems fitting to create a huge impact with her departure, with Iain teasing her epic last stunt where Gary and Kelly are catapulted into the heart of a huge week on the cobbles.

He revealed to What To Watch and other media: “It leaves me with a heavy heart to say it, but we all know Kelly’s leaving the show. 

"We thought, well actually, the fact that Millie is going and that therefore Kelly is going, allows us to go really big and do something incredibly high stakes to maybe have some characters step on all these landmines that we’ve buried for them over the years and have them all go off in one cataclysmic explosion. 

"So we’ve really thrown everything at this week to try and bring out all the big secrets, lies, reveals, and schemes.”

Behind the scenes of Coronation Street- Kelly and Gary with the volume wall

Kelly and Gary will be at the forefront of a major week on the cobbles. (Image credit: ITV)

And to do this, the crew went to RecodeXR Studio in Trafford Park to use the incredible technology that is often used in Hollywood films to create Kelly’s final moments in Coronation Street.

Iain said: “The centerpiece of the week is a sequence that we’ve shot using technology that’s more commonly found in things like The Mandalorian or they use it a slightly larger version of this in a lot of the Avengers movies, it’s called a volume wall, which was relatively new to me. 

“Essentially, it’s like a very new fan dangled version of what they would’ve called a green screen or back projection back in the early days of the talkies. But basically, it means you can put your actors anywhere that you can imagine. So you can essentially design a 3D world, like the surface of Mars and you could stick Ken and Rita up there having a Mr. Kipling and a cup of tea, should you wish.”

Behind the scenes filming Kelly Neelan exit stunt- a man holds onto Kelly's arm on a rooftop's

The soap used Hollywood-style technology — a first ever in the world of soaps. (Image credit: ITV)

Iain went on to reveal that the footage that was filmed was ‘incredible’ as he continued: “So what we’ve done instead is create this incredible rooftop sequence with a sort of twinkling cityscape behind it, so that we can do things that you could never normally do in a location shoot. 

“You can put real actors in what appears to be very real danger without using stunt performers. You can have the camera behave in a way that it can’t do in the real world, unless it’s being operated by an Avenger. 

“The camera can swoop and fly and move around in ways that you can’t do for real. So we created this incredibly cinematic sequence for the set piece of this week, which I’m incredibly excited about. I’ve only seen the rushes and it already looks incredible.”

Iain believes that Coronation Street is the first-ever soap to use this groundbreaking technology, revealing that: “I don’t think any continuing drama, as far as I know, has ever used this technology before. So I think we’ll be the first to do it. So it’s got that truly cinematic feel to it. It’s funny, it’s got the party to end all parties in the middle of it. It’s just a great all round week of Coronation Street.”

Coronation Street airs hour-long episodes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on ITV Hub.

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.