All Change At The Top

After 3 years Producer Stuart Blackburn is saying goodbye to Coronation Street, handing over the reigns to Emmerdale’s Kate Oates.

Stuart Blackburn - Coronation Street - ITV

During his time as Coronation Street’s Producer Stuart has overseen an array of significantly memorable storylines. These have included the death of Hayley Cropper, the devastating minibus crash and the explosive fire at Carla’s flat in Victoria Court.

Stuart Blackburn will remain with ITV and ITV Studios and will continue to produce Coronation Street until he leaves in the New Year including producing the live episode on Wednesday 23 September.

Stuart is the only Producer in modern soap history to produce two live episodes and also guided Coronation Street to two successive BAFTA wins.

“I’ve loved every minute of producing Coronation Street,” said Stuart. “What a rollercoaster ride the last three years has been. We’ve met every challenge along the way and I can’t praise the cast, crew and writers highly enough for rising to the occasion with each storyline.

He continued: “For the next few months my focus will remain entirely on all things Corrie, as we have massive stories coming up taking us in to the Spring and Summer of 2016. I wish my friend Kate well in her role as she takes on one of the best jobs in television.”

Coronation Street’s Executive Producer and ITV’s Creative Director of Drama in the North, Kieran Roberts said:

"Stuart has been a wonderful Producer of Coronation Street and a fantastic colleague. The skill, professionalism and care he has brought to the job shows in everything he does.”

Kate Oates - Coronation Street - ITV

Kate Oates takes over as Producer in the New Year. A former Producer of Radio 4’s The Archers from 2003-2010, Kate has successfully produced Emmerdale since January 2013. She previously worked as Coronation Street’s Assistant Producer following a stint as Emmerdale’s Story Editor and is passionate about both soaps.

“I’m delighted to accept the role as Coronation Street’s new Producer,” said Kate. “It’s really exciting to be moving from one amazing soap to another and I feel very blessed.”

Managing Director, Continuing Drama John Whiston commented: “Everywhere you go these days everyone is talking about Emmerdale. Kate Oates has been responsible for the show’s on-going resurgence. She has that rare combination, a sharp editorial eye for a compelling story together with deep understanding of what drives characters caught up in such drama.”

Iain MacLeod will become the new Emmerdale Producer. This appointment will take effect at the end of this year.