Stuart Blackburn has been appointed the new Producer of Coronation Street, as Phil Collinson steps down. Current producer Phil will remain at ITV in a new role developing drama and Stuart will take up his Corrie role in January 2013.
A drama graduate of Birmingham University, Stuart is no stranger to Corrie as he previously worked on the programme as Story Editor until joining Emmerdale in 2009, also as Story Editor. He began producing Emmerdale in 2010 and has presided over some hugely successful storylines including judgment day for Cain Dingle, Ashley’s abuse of his father, Sandy, Jackson’s assisted suicide and the current Cameron, Chas, Debbie love triangle. With Emmerdale’s live birthday episode only a week away (Wednesday 17 October, ITV1, 8pm) he’s also looking forward to a memorable swansong.
“I’m in the very privileged position of producing Emmerdale’s hour-long live episode to celebrate the programme’s 40th birthday and I get to produce Coronation Street too,” said Stuart. “Life just couldn’t get any better. Emmerdale is a very special programme to me, as I was born and brought up in West Yorkshire. I’m in total admiration of the cast and production team as they are all incredibly talented people. They do an amazing job and I’ll be sad to leave them,” he added.
“Coronation Street also has a place in my heart, as I believe passionately in story telling, and although I recognise it’s a massive responsibility, I have the best job in the world,” he added.
Phil Collinson has successfully produced Coronation Street since joining ITV from the BBC in 2010. Within his first year in the role the former Doctor Who Producer was responsible for overseeing the highly acclaimed 50th anniversary week of episodes including the live episode, which was hailed by the critics as a creative masterpiece.
During Phil’s time as Producer he has also steered the programme to achieve a BAFTA for Best Soap and Continuing Drama, a National Television Award for Serial Drama, an RTS Award for Best Soap and Continuing Drama, and the Broadcast Award for Best Soap and Continuing Drama.
Some of the most memorable storylines during Phil’s reign have been the devastating tram crash which saw death and destruction hit the street on a massive scale, Carla’s rape at the hands of evil Frank Foster, Peter’s marriage to Leanne and his torrid affair with Carla and Kirsty’s domestic abuse towards Tyrone.
“It’s been an honour to produce Coronation Street and I’ll be sad to leave,” said Phil. “But the drama can only stay at the top of its game if the Producer is re-energised every 2 to 3 years.”
“By the time I say farewell I’ll have been with the programme for nearly three years and produced almost 750 episodes. It’s an achievement I’m hugely proud of, but I know I couldn’t have done it without the amazing production team, writers, cast and crew who work tirelessly to produce the best drama on television. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart,” said Phil.
“I wish Stuart every success and look forward now to taking up my new role developing drama and producing brand new drama from our base in Manchester.”
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