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Older Corrie stars to feature in soap via video calls

Older Corrie stars to feature in soap via video calls
© ITV
Coronation Street's older cast members could feature on the show through video calls, according to the soap's showrunner.

Coronation Street showrunner Iain MacLeod has revealed that the soap is working on ways to feature older cast members in new episodes.

After almost three months of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the cast returned to work on Tuesday - although those aged 70 and over will not be back on set for the time being.

Those affected by the restriction include 88-year-old Bill Roache (Ken Barlow), 86-year-old Barbara Knox (Rita Sullivan), 76-year-old Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts), 71-year-old David Neilson (Roy Cropper), 74-year-old Maureen Lipman (Evelyn Plummer) and 80-year-old part-timer Malcolm Hebden (Norris Cole).

"In some cases we'll be telling a story that accounts for them being off screen for the time being but in other cases we'll imagine that they're just upstairs unseen," MacLeod told reporters at a virtual press conference. "So it's not like we'll have to explain that they've gone away somewhere. It's purely that they're self-isolating.

"It has provided us with some opportunities to do some interesting stories as well. We have considered having some of the older cast, vulnerable cast, on Zoom calls or Skype calls or Facetiming and other ways of storytelling that incorporate that as a device.

"In some cases they physically can't be in the building. But I still think we want to keep sight of them and I know the audience will thank us for keeping them in sight.

"They're very well loved, they're fantastic characters and performers. So we are trying to take advantage of the post-pandemic world and some elements of that that have become fairly normal for a lot of us."

Roache has previously predicted that he will be away from the Corrie cobbles "for some time".

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