Belfast Telegraph

Coronation Street boss Kate Oates quits the cobbles

Iain MacLeod will move to Weatherfield from Emmerdale in June.

Coronation Street boss Kate Oates has quit the soap, saying she is “proud” of the storylines which aired under her tenure.

Emmerdale producer Iain MacLeod will take over on the cobbles in June.

Oates, who recently defended the soap’s dark storylines, is moving into drama series production.

Recent Corrie plots have included a male rape storyline and controversy over a scene in which vicar Billy Mayhew took heroin in a church.

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Coronation Street’s Connor McIntyre plays Pat Phelan (Peter

Memorable storylines during Oates’ time in charge also include Eva and Maria’s infamous catfight, Bethany’s grooming plotline, the return of Carla Connor and Pat Phelan’s reign of terror in Weatherfield.

ITV Studios’ creative director for Coronation Street and Emmerdale John Whiston said: “Kate Oates has transformed Coronation Street during her tenure.

“This has been reflected both in the huge critical acclaim the show has been getting and in the ratings.

“We are now used to opening the overnights and seeing Coronation Street has delivered its highest ratings for many years, a Herculean achievement in this box set era.”

He added: “Kate has done this whilst putting on screen some groundbreaking and socially important stories such as the Bethany grooming story and David’s rape story.

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Jack P Shepherd's character was at the centre of a male rape storyline (Ian West/PA)

“It is a testament to her brilliant editorial touch that these stories, though difficult, have been both credible and engaging.

“Meanwhile, Kate has unleashed on us one of the finest villains in soap history with Pat Phelan and his dastardly deeds.”

He said the show continued to provide the “top-notch Corrie humour” it has been famous for and praised Oates – who began her role in April 2016 – for taking the show from five episodes to six episodes a week.

Former ITV drama commissioner Jane Hudson has been made executive producer of fellow ITV soap Emmerdale, which recently hit the headlines with a dementia storyline.

Oates, who will produce the second series of ITV drama Bancroft, starring Sarah Parish, said that working on Corrie had “simply been one of the best experiences of my life”.

“I am proud of the stories we have told and the impact they have had – and I’ve had a ball working with one of the best and most talented teams in television,” she said.

“I’ll be forever grateful for this opportunity and all it has given me but I’m also excited to try something new.”

She added: “I’ll continue to love watching both ITV soaps from the comfort of my sofa.”

MacLeod said “only Corrie could have tempted me away” from Emmerdale.

“It gave me my first job in TV as an assistant researcher many years ago and to be returning as producer is the fulfilment of a longstanding dream,” he said.

Oates recently defended Corrie’s dark storylines, saying: “We’re telling stories and some stories are challenging and that’s the way it’s always been.

“You could be rose-tinted in your views of Corrie history and other soap history. There’s always been challenging stories and we’re carrying on that tradition.”

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