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KEVIN WEBSTER.JPGMichael Le Vell will go into the witness box to defend himself against accusations that he raped and sexually abused a young girl.

The 48 year old star, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap Coronation Street, will give evidence to the jury at Manchester Crown Court on the fourth day of his trial.

Le Vell, real name Michael Tuner, is accused of 12 charges in all - five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

After the actor was accused of rape by the alleged victim's mother, he told police: "You could have blew me over. My legs just went to jelly. 

"I don't know where these allegations have come from."

He also told police the alleged victim's mother was "interested in dark spirits". Earlier in the trial, the court heard he is alleged to have raped the girl while she clutched a teddy bear during one attack.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wept as she told the court that Le Vell told her it was their "little secret".

Separately a man has been arrested and bailed over publicly identifying Le Vell's alleged victim. A 43-year-old man from Gloucestershire was held last night after he apparently tweeted the girl's identity. Under law, alleged victims of all sexual offences are afforded anonymity for life.

Greater Manchester Police said this morning they had made an arrest near Gloucester on suspicion of breaching the Sexual Offences Act 1992. A 23-year-old man was given a police caution after he was arrested in March for tweeting the girl's identity.



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05_07_CORO_GAIL_DAVID_01.JPG7.30pm: Anna comforts Faye and is appalled to learn from Jason that Tim stayed on in Newcastle with a woman. How will she react when he returns? Kylie tackles David about his behaviour when he takes his anger out on Gail by blaming her for his unhappy childhood, while Roy has last-minute doubts as he sits in the doctor's waiting room and Sinead begins to realise Chesney only takes her out to score points in front of Katy.
8.30pm: Anna berates Tim for neglecting Faye, who asks him if he really wants her to live with him, while Katy has a heart-to-heart with Sinead about Chesney. Beth and Kirk are shocked to see Ryan out with another girl, while David encourages Nick to agree to Leanne's suggestion of a student night at the Bistro

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rovers-return question mark.jpgIt's been quite a while now since Corrie started taking money for product placement. Advertisers are now able to place their product in the show but there are strict guidelines surrounding the practise, and we think we spotted a breech.

Last night Dennis Tanner tried to pay for milk in Dev's shop and, after being told that he could only do that on transactions of £5 and over, was directed to the Nationwide cash machine in the shop. Now, Nationwide pay a product placement fee to have that cash machine in the soap. The guidelines state that products paying for placement should not be given undue prominence n the programme. The clause in Ofcom's product placement regulations is 9.3 and states that 'surreptitious advertising is prohibited'.

It goes on: "Surreptitious advertising involves a reference to a product, service or trade mark within a programme, where such a reference is intended by the broadcaster to serve as advertising and this is not made clear to the audience."

I other words, if the cash machine is there its fine, if Dev points at it and tells Dennis to use it, it becomes part of the story and the viewers attention is being deliberately drawn to a product which has paid to advertise.

Now, obviously no-one really cares about any of this EXCEPT that this little Dennis/ cashcard story is a little piece of forgettable fluff and appears to have been designed solely to bring the cash machine to the viewers' attention. It doesn't sit well with us here at Corrie Blog.

When the product placement deal was first announced, we questioned how long it would take for the interests of the advertisers to overtake the interests of the viewer. Not very long at all, it seems.

Tina McIntyre.jpegAll soaps seem to find in necessary to include the occasional 'socially relevant' storyline they very rarely prove popular with the viewers or particularly entertaining.
Sometimes plots (such as the Carla Connor rape) play out over long, uncomfortable months and sometimes they appear and are quickly dropped when they are shown to be ridiculous (we're thinking of the Ryan Connor baby swap plot, here). We're not saying that many of these aren't hugely significant social issues or that soaps shouldn't reflect real life incidents but soap storylines are often like supertankers, very slow to slow down or stop. Sometimes you can see a crash coming and it's not a pleasant feeling.

Here at Corrie Blog we've got a sinking feeling that the Izzy/ Gary/ Tina/ surrogacy story has all the signs of a huge, boring iceberg that Corrie is sailing inexorably toward.

Again, obviously surrogacy and disability are very important issues but if Gary and Izzy pay Tina to have their baby then we are going to have months (or possibly years) of very predictable and dull scenes. 'Gary is overprotective of Tina', 'Tina has a fall', 'Owen is overprotective of Tina', 'Tommy can't handle the pregnancy', "Izzy has her doubts about loving the baby', "Izzy is overprotective of Tina', 'Izzy is jealous of Tina', 'Norris thinks it's all disgraceful', 'Rita is overprotective of Tina', 'Tina can't bring herself to hand over the baby'....blah, blah, blah. On and on it will go - extended, predictable and only good for use as a kettle break.

Obviously these storylines are debated and decided by the producers and writers over the course of weeks and all angles are worked out, but this is soapland, there are rules. Baddies always get their comeuppance, there is a cliffhanger every half hour and sensitive storylines are handled with kid gloves. We guarantee that the characters will have to behave within very narrow parameters for the duration of the story and nothing sensational or funny will happen. It will be sooooooo boring.

Please, please, Corrie bosses, start turning the ship now. There's a big, dull crash a-coming.

Just a couple of weeks ago we expressed concern about the welfare of the kids of (then) warring couple Dev and Sunita Alahan. They were rowing in the street, Sunita got arrested and Dev went drinking in the Rovers. No-one, it seems, was looking after their children.paula lane.jpg

Now it's Max's turn to go missing. Last night David and Kylie's marriage troubles worsened and Kylie packed a bag and left. She, David and Gail heatedly debated the situation for a while but at no point did anyone mention the couple's son.

'What about Max?' would surely be any responsible person's question? But the Platt's don't seem to remember that they have a small child secreted somewhere about the house.

I wonder how many of the writers or producers of the show are parents? A few of them must be. So why does no-one point out these plot holes sometime before the cameras roll? Leaving kids without supervision would cause a lot of fuss if the whole thing wasn't a made-up TV show - which (we must constantly remind ourselves) it is.

Corrie may occasionally feature off colour comments (usually emanating from the lips of Kylie) but never from Emily Bishop. In tonight's first episode, though, was a corker.EMILY BISHOP.jpg

Chatting to Rita in the Rovers about which one of them would die first (cheery chat, then) Emily said that Rita would out-live her because 'even a tram couldn't see you off.' Anyone spot what is inappropriate with that? That's right, Alan Bradley.

As we all know Alan Bradley was Rita's former lover who was killed by a tram when chasing her around Blackpool. Rita ran in front of the tram immediately before it hit Bradley. Why would Emily choose the occasion of Betty's funeral to remind Rita about a old flame who pretended to be her dead husband to try and defraud her out of her house and who died from tram-related injuries while trying to kill her? It's a very odd thing to do.

We'll put it down to grief, shall we?

So Amber has a party, Sunita kicks off with her, Amber leaves Weatherfield, Sunita chucks Dev and then heads off to get drunk. Sunita is then arrested and Dev is seen propping up the bar in the Rovers. Can someone tell us who is looking after Dev and Sunita's kids?

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One minute Sunita is chastising Amber for holding a party when twins Aadi and Asha are in the house, the next she off galavanting and showing no concern about her kids whatsoever. Dev is no better - there was no explanation of where the kids were or who was looking after them when he appeared in the Rovers so we must be left to assume that they were abandoned to live on their wits in Number 7.

Here's hoping this has all been a terrible oversight by the Corrie writers or we can expect Weatherfield social services to be visiting the Alahans very soon.

Ex Labour cabinet minister Roy Hattersley has launched a vicious (and in many ways very reasonable) attack on Corrie's current predilection for stories featuring murder and crime.

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In an opinion piece printed in the Daily Mail today life-long Coronation Street fan Mr Hattersley complains that the soap has moved too far away from its roots as a slice of everyday northern life and become obsessed with killing and far-fetched storylines.

He points out that: 'In the early days of the once much-loved soap opera, gnarled characters Ena Sharples and Minnie Caldwell sat in the corner of the Rovers Return snug, sipping their half pints of stout and enjoying being scandalised by nothing more wicked than the short skirts of 'street siren' Elsie Tanner. In those days, Coronation Street was a warm and friendly place to live.'

'Now, it is not the sort of neighbourhood to visit after dark. Viewers would feel frightened if the story-lines were remotely plausible. In truth, the almost weekly dose of death has made the show not only squalid, but frankly ridiculous.'

He goes on to take issue with many specific events in the soap's recent history and makes an impassioned case that the values that were once central to life in Weatherfield have been eroded in the constant scrabble for ratings.

It's a view that we at Corrie Blog have been expressing for quite a time now and we think that Mr Hattersley makes some very valid and well-argued points. Well done, Sir, for bothering to bring these views to wider attention. Let's hope someone at Corrie takes note.

You can read the full article here.

It seems Corrie's current plotline involving builder Owen Armstrong (Ian Puleston Davies) slapping girlfriend Anna Windass's adopted daughter Faye (Ellie Louise Leach) has upset quite a few viewers.

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Some took to social network Twitter to raise their concerns that the scene was too much, one tweeter said: 'Very uncomfortable. Wrong on so many levels', another added, 'Don't think it should have been shown.'

Philip Noyes, of children's charity the NSPCC responded to the controversial plot, saying: 'Parents can obviously be pushed to the limit on occasion but there are more positive ways of correcting a child's behaviour than smacking them. It simply sets a bad example and teaches children that violence is a solution. Children tell us it leaves them scared and confused and the NSPCC believes it simply gives out the wrong message and breaks down the trust between child and parent.'

The Daily Mirror reports that a Corrie spokesperson told them: 'We most certainly don't condone Owen's actions - as will be seen by the ramifications of the slap, and the effect it has on his relationship.'

Monday night's episodes of Coronation Street, which featured the rape of Carla Connor (Alison King) by partner Frank Foster (Andrew Lancel), drew average audiences of 10 million viewers. This is very good news for ITV, its advertisers and the Corrie producers but is it ultimately bad for the soap itself?

Here at Corrie Blog we've been very critical of the soap's recent obsession with serious, usually crime-related storylines. The past couple of years has seen far too many characters imprisoned or accused of murders, beatings, kidnappings and theft. While many of these storylines (the rape included) have been very well conceived and delivered the fact is that Corrie isn't a programme with a history of constant sensationalism. There used to be the odd crime and sometimes characters turn out to be wrong 'uns but the recent propensity for near permanent serious criminal activity amongst the characters has moved the soap dangerously close to Eastenders territory, or even (heaven forbid) Brookside at its maddest.

The problem is that with 10 million viewers tuning in to watch an episode featuring rape the producers may feel the pressure to make such seemingly popular storylines an ongoing regular feature. We're not saying that there will be something as drastic as a rape or murder every other week but the idea that serious stories attract more viewers is a dangerous one. As we've said before, the hardcore 6 million or so regular Corrie viewers watch predominantly for the humour and the (relatively) realistic tradition of the show. Shocking storylines may bring short term results but how long before too many of them change the hue of Corrie for good and die-hard viewers feel alienated and start switching off permanently?

Tread lightly, Corrie, you're on thin ice.

Here at Corrie Blog HQ something has been bothering us about Corrie for a while. It's not the eternal question of where all the residents of the street park their cars (we'll get to the bottom of that one day) or how many rooms there are in the Barlows' house (seeing as they sometimes have up to seven people living there). No, it's, exactly what is the 2 for 1 Tuesday Meal Deal they advertise in the Rovers?

For those who haven't noticed, there's a poster on the wall of the pub - the wall that adjoins the Barlows, near where the toilets are - that clearly says '2 for 1 Tuesday meal deals'. What is less clear is what exactly the poster is offering. Bear in mind that the only food ever seen being consumed in the Rovers is Betty's Hot Pot or occasionally a packet of nuts. So why is there a poster with a plate of...erm... something, not hot pot anyway, and details of a 2 for 1 offer? It doesn't make sense.

The poster is well designed, properly printed and looks like the kind of thing a brewery would send to chain pubs. But when the only food option is hot pot surely a chalk board saying 'Hot pots 2 for 1 on Tuesdays' would be more appropriate? Although that itself seems somewhat unnecessary when the pub is full of non-eaters all day every day anyway. Why not just put up a sign that says 'OK, we know Betty's been off sick for months but please buy a hot pot as we've got a freezer full that she made when Freshco were had a meat offer on and they won't last forever. Please eat our food. We can't survive on Peter Barlow's pineapple juice habit and Norris and Ken's halves for much longer, not when we have about 9 staff (one on long term sick leave) for only 22 customers. The wage bill is crippling us so please, please buy our food'.

betty and hot pot.jpg

It'd be a big sign, mind.

Corrie newcomer Catherine Tyldesley has been sticking up for on-screen mum Michelle Collins over her clearly poor Manchester accent. Since arriving in Weatherfield a few weeks ago Collins (who plays Stella Price) has been talking in a weird half-accent that sounds more like a southerner doing a cartoon northerner than and actual northerner, but the fragrant Ms Tyldesley (who plays Stella's equally fragrant daughter Eva) says she can't see the problem. She told Inside Soap, 'I can't understand this fuss. If you actually listen to Michelle's accent, there's nothing wrong with it at all. My family couldn't get any more northern, so if I heard something that wasn't quite right, I'd be the first to say so. I think she and John Michie (Karl Price) are both doing a brilliant job of their characters.'

Catherine tyldesley2.jpg

You may be right Catherine, maybe her accent is bang on and utterly convincing. Maybe it's everyone else that's hearing it wrong. Maybe we should just forget about every other northern accent we've ever heard and just accept that that's the way all folk in the north actually sound. We'll keep you views on file for future reference. Thanks for your much valued participation in the debate.

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.

ben price.jpg

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.

We're used to seeing the stars of Corrie on the settees of the nation's TV shows plugging upcoming storylines or their imminent appearance in panto, but in the past few days a new Weatherfield-related face has been on our screens. Controversial Corrie producer Phil Collinson has been on various TV shows (including BBC Breakfast and This Morning) to try and counter the growing criticism of the show and his stewardship.

With viewing figures dropping rapidly recently, Collinson is on a full-on charm offensive and has countered claims that the soap is too fantastical, too gay and too rubbish-accenty. On BBC Breakfast he tried to deflect some of the gay criticism by claiming it only crops up because he himself is gay, on This Morning he defended Michelle Collins undeniably poor Northern accent by saying that he'd heard a lot of people saying they like the character and he said that the ratings drop was caused by Wimbledon and the hot weather.

He might have a point. He might not. The fact is that Corrie has been getting increasingly outlandish over the past couple of years and the gentle, uneventful humour which made the soap popular in the first place has been largely forsaken in the hunt for sensational storylines, many of which just don't work. The Graeme/Xin marriage plot was ill-thought out and poor, Becky and Steve's break up has been surprisingly dull and disjointed and the interminable Stape murder farce was tortuously dragged out over two years and still hasn't finished!

We at Corrie Blog say, 'Come on, Corrie, we love you but it's time to restock, reshape and return to being a simple story of Northern folk.' When the show's producer is becoming more well known that it's stars something is very wrong indeed.

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Please let us know what you think, leave a message below or send us your thought via Twitter or Facebook.

Are there now too many music montages in Coronation Street? With both of the recent bank holiday Sunday 'specials' of Corrie featuring musical montages - where shots are cut to music, pop video style - and some of last year's 50th anniversary episodes culminating in similar scenes, viewers may well be of the opinion that the soap is moving a little too far away from it's traditional format. The Sunday episode during the royal wedding weekend featured a montage of Sean, boyfriend Marcus and Sean's son Dylan enjoying the sights of London to the sounds of London Calling by the Clash (noticeably mimicking a scene in the film Trainspotting) and last Sunday's Blackpool episode saw a brief montage cut to 'She's So Lovely' by Scouting For Girls. There were similar montages last year - shots of street residents as Rita sang in the Rovers, for instance - and it's now starting to look like they may well become a regular feature.

There's no doubt that, correctly handled, montages can have great impact but two in two weeks seems a little like laziness. The recent Sunday episodes felt like hastily knocked together spin-offs to begin with so perhaps the montages were included as a means of filling some time in half-hearted programmes? Certainly these scenes are a million miles away from Corrie's established style. Let's not forget that the soap was created to be a realistic look at a Northern back street but the programme makers now appear set on making it appear more like a pop video. Maybe they're hoping to sell the repeats to MTV?

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Is Corrie changing too much? Are the producers right to try and update the format? Please let us know what you think.

There have been views aired across the internet that Corrie hasn't been up to standard of late. After last year's 50th anniversary culminated with the already legendary tram crash some have said that the programme has been struggling to keep up the pace it set itself. Certainly recent plotlines have not been as dramatic or even as cohesive as before (doesn't the whole visa/ wedding scam seem a little thrown together?) and there is an inevitable feeling of anti-climax on the cobbles.

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But Monday night's Becky extravaganza (with Katherine Kellly on blinding, blood soaked form) felt much more like Corrie in its stride, has Corrie regained its mojo? Will upcoming storylines be an improvement on some recent lacklustre episodes? Please let us know what you think. Leave us a message, send a tweet, comment on Facebook - we'd love to hear from you!

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As Mrs Hargreaves departed this life under a hairdryer in tonight's Corrie we're left wondering whether we're watching Corrie in 2011 or the TV of yesteryear. In the same scene that saw the dryer demise was Audrey, Claudia and her new beau Mark, or Joan from Reggie Perrin, Q from Rock Follies and Russell from Butterflies, if you prefer. Those under 40 may not recognise the references but a lot of older viewers must be convinced that someone in Corrie casting is obsessed with providing work for ageing sitcom/ comedy musical performers. What next? Rodney Bewes working in Dev's kebab shop? Or Robin Asquith as one of Steve's taxi drivers? We will see....

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kim crowther 1410.jpgFormer Doctor Who series producer Phil Collinson is to join ITV Studios as the new producer of Coronation Street. Collinson, who takes up the post in March, replaces Kim Crowther (pictured), who is leaving after two and a half years on the soap.

Speaking about the opportunity to join ITV he told The Stage: "I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Corrie. It goes without saying that it's a tremendous honour to be entrusted with building on Coronation Street's success and creating the must-see storylines for 2012 and beyond."

molly_kevin_breakdown.jpgMolly and Kevin's affair appears to be back on the cards and moving up a gear - with the romantic weekend away going ahead this time. However, it all looks set to end in yet more trouble for them - when Kevin's van breaks down in the hotel car park!

They end up arguing when Kevin can't fix it and help has to be called. Let's just hope Tyrone isn't the one who comes!

What are you making of the controversial Molly and Kevin affair? Comment us below with your thoughts.

PAM_HOBSWORTH.jpgHere at Corrieblog, we've been lucky enough to secure an exciting opportunity for our readers. Kate Anthony - better known to viewers as Auntie Pam Hobsworth - is giving us the chance to have a Q&A session with her, to ask her anything we'd like to know!

I'd like to invite you to submit any questions you'd like to ask Kate about her role as Pam, her time on the Street, or anything else about her life and acting career. You can email me your questions, and try to get them in by Tuesday 21 July.

Hope you will make the most of this great opportunity to interact with a star of Corrie, and here's hoping this may be the first of many Q&As!

Tony Gordon's AutographA growing passion of mine over the last couple of years has been collecting autographed photocards from a variety of famous faces. So, sitting bored one grey afternoon in January, I decided to further my collection by opening up to the possibility of collecting autographs from the cast of Coronation Street.

After some light research as to how to go about this, I found the process relatively simple. To receive a signed cast card of a Corrie actor and actress, you simply had to write to the star you wanted requesting an autograph and pop it in the post, along with a SAE. I thought I would give this a go to see if I had any luck, and so randomly selected Gray O'Brien - Tony Gordon - to be my first shot.

A mere ten days later and - hurrah! - success! A familiar envelope dropped through my letterbox containing a photocard of Gray, personalised for me. And so the pen came out once more, and over the next few weeks and months I began writing to each of the 60+ cast members.

rosie_windfall.jpgCorrieblog reader Tracyluv has been in touch, and had this to say about Rosie Webster's recent windfall - receiving £150,000 as 'compensation' from John Stape:

"We were hoping that John would rescind it and she would have to pay the money back but I suppose that's too much to hope for. I cannot believe his solicitor did not try and talk him out of this, as his mind is not balanced at present."

So what do we think of this development? Is Miss Webster going to go from bad to worse with this big payout? Or will it ground her and help towards setting her up for the future? Comment us below, or drop an email to Corrieblog HQ!

Ghost of Pat Phoenix stalks the Coronation Street set, says the Sun. "So many people have seen and felt the same things that there has to be something in it," says Sue Cleaver.

They try to make Peter Barlow go to rehab, but he says "no, no, no," according to the Star.

There's an excellent interview with Corrie producer Kim Crowther over at Digital Spy.

Over on ITV.com, there's a video of Jennie McAlpine, Katy Cavanagh and Craig Charles when they appeared on This Morning. They also have the nominations for ther British Soap Awards, and one of them is pocket-sized genius Alex Bain (Simon). Hurrah!

29_10_carla-liam-tony.jpgReceived wisdom says that murderers always get their comeuppance in soaps. Therefore it follows that Tony Gordon can't get away with murder forever - or can he? Kathy R thinks that, in Tony's case, justice could be postponed indefinitely.

Here is my best guess on what will unfold regarding Tony being the mastermind behind Liam's murder. Tony's henchman will either disappear or refuse to implicate Tony in the murder. Which will leave Tony free to continue to enjoy his freedom, go back to being co-boss of Underworld, and have a torrid affair with Maria. Even if his involvement is suspected, it will be impossible to prove. Gray O'Brien just had his contract extended, ITV loves him to bits, and they have big plans for him, according to the Corrie scuttlebutt. When you develop a character as popular and interesting as Tony has become, you don't send him down. So Liam's murder isn't going to get officially solved for some time. Probably not until or if Gray wants to leave Corrie. Just my opinion of course. What say you all? [Kathy R]

Sandie M is lamenting the departure of the character I'll always think of as "Cousin Tom."

13_06_carla-tom-2.jpgHave I missed something, or was Tom taking Kelly Crabtree up the alley (giggle) his last scene, and he's really gone? If so, I think that's really disappointing. But in fact, the thing I'm most disappointed about, and think is most important concerning Tom leaving, is that he won't be around for the Tony reveal. Tom played such a big part in Liam's final months and, besides Carla and Maria, was the main character he interracted with. Who is going to care about what Tony did to Liam now other than Carla? Maria will be more concerned about how she fell in love with her husband's killer and feeling sorry for herself - right before she's whisked off screen when Samia has maternity leave. Me-Shell, who acts like she never even had two brothers die young, will care for all of five minutes before getting back to her love life (please PLEASE writers, do not put her with Luke Strong!). And Ryan, well, it's like he and Tom were never related anyway. So after a year of this story slow-burning we'll have Tony himself, who I assume will be leaving after the story is over anyway (sadly) and Carla reacting from this story. I'm sure that'll be well worth it though as Gray and Alison never disappoint.

It just would have been better if Tom was around for it too. Despite his recent mopings, he was a well-written character. The way he never got over Liam dying like the rest of the Connor's (bar Carla) was nice to see, judging by how fast the grieving process takes place in soaps. The whole outcome of him leaving at this point reminds me of Maxine's mother, Doreen a few years back, and how she berrated Audrey for accusing Richard Hillman of her daughter's murder, but by the time the reveal in that story happened, Doreen had already moved on and never apologised to Audrey for the way she'd been with her.

I know Tom's last two months haven't been great character wise (we weren't even told where he was living, and his main story time involved him walking Ozzy), and his popularity dropped but he was a character that started off so well, and probably won't ever be seen on the cobbles again, as from reading his Twitter page I assume P McG has moved to London. Anyway I wish him the best in his career and hope it isn't the last we see of him on TV. There is clearly something about him from seeing the interest he's had on here. [Sandie M]

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