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Photos mark Corrie's 50th birthday

With just months to go before soap favourite Coronation Street enjoys its landmark 50th birthday, the programme has released a Vanity Fair style photoshoot to promote a series of new stories.

The ITV1 show is the most watched soap so far this year averaging 9.9 million viewers per episode for the first half of 2010.

This is up 4.2% on the audience share during the same months in 2009.

The most popular episode of Coronation Street averaged 12 million viewers and a 44% share of the viewing public, making it one of the most popular programmes of the year on any channel.

Bosses say the actors pictured will be central to the storylines in the build up to the special anniversary.

Many of them will be affected by the tragic and dramatic events in December when a tram crashes off the viaduct and changes residents' lives for ever.

"Coronation street has the ability to move with the times whilst retaining a unique sense of northern humour pathos, tragedy, conflict and drama," said producer Phil Collinson.

"Fascinating characters and superb script writing lie at the heart of Coronation Street's appeal and are the reason audiences have continued to watch in their millions.

"I have never worked on a show where the audience is so passionately involved in the lives of the characters on screen...and that brings with it a huge responsibility to make sure we keep their stories truthful and compelling."

Behind the scenes film of the shoot is available to watch from Tuesday August 31st on www.itv.com/corrie

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