Corrie actor Ben Price, who plays knicker factory boss turned bistro owner Nick Tilsley, has said that Corrie's move away from comedy toward crime-obsessed misery is vital to the soap's survival. Talking absolute tosh he told BANG Showbiz, 'I think the show has definitely steered away from what it started as, but it was launched in black and white. If you don't move on or try anything new you'll still be stuck in black and white with Ena Sharples and Elsie Tanner sweeping up the street.'
He continued by showing he can count, 'It was 50 years ago, it's not a series that has been running for three years - it's 50 years old and you have to keep coming up with new storylines to keep the audience involved and interested.'
And then that he knows nothing about Corrie's fans, 'The viewing figures are actually up and the audience clearly like these shocking storylines, as they're watching them. That's what matters.'
Where do we start with this ill-argued twonk? Firstly, 'if you don't move on you'll still be stuck in black and white' is a facile, idiotic comment. Technologically advances in TV broadcasting have nothing whatsoever to do with plots and character, if they did the show would be broadcast in 3D and feature storylines requiring footballs to be kicked straight at the camera or Deidre to get wound up every episode so her neck veins really bulge out.
Next, 'it's not a series that's been running for 3 years, it's 50 years old' - quite right, Ben, and it's been going for half a century because it's built a loyal fan base by offering gentle, banter based, non-sensational humour. The current producers seem determined to layer criminal act upon criminal act with ever-increasing regularity and ignore the elements that secured the programme its longevity. There's always been the odd punch up, affair or murder but it feels like that's ALL there is now, maybe the producers should re-watch some of those old shows and see what Corrie is really all about.
'The viewing figures are actually up and the audience clearly like these shocking storylines' - Wrong! Producers are piling on the sensational storylines because they have a temporary effect on viewing figures, but in the long term they will be harmful. The core audience for Corrie is around about 8 million viewers, these are people who have watched the soap week in week out for years. When there is an attention grabbing event this figure rises by a few million - a few million fair weather fans who may bring short term benefits to ITV and it's advertisers but who disappear again when things calm down, leaving the core audience feeling ignored and cheated. Eventually the core audience will become disaffected with the constant ridiculous storylines and dwindle away. ITV ignore Corrie's real fans at their peril.
So, thanks for that, Ben, thanks for sucking up to your bosses, talking balderdash and showing that the 'new crop' of Corrie trustees (yourself included) know nothing about the soap and are happy to make tow the party line and show blind fealty to the great god of viewing figures whatever the cost to the great institution of Coronation Street.