Coronation Street will avoid going “dark and gothic” like many other soaps for its Christmas special, instead focusing on “heartwarming and joyous” themes, its producer has said.
The festive feature of the ITV soap will also see a return of the “community focused” style of the cobbles with the characters in closer proximity to each other, as it was filmed when restrictions were eased on social-distancing rules for actors.
The programme’s producer reflected on the hard work and “dedication” of the whole team behind the show as they navigated coronavirus restrictions throughout the year.
— Coronation Street (@itvcorrie) December 1, 2021
Discussing Christmas on the cobbles, Iain MacLeod said: “It’s quite jolly actually. Obviously, there’s a tradition on some soaps of going really big and dark and gothic at Christmas and we’ve occasionally dipped our toe in that water, but I think it’s fair to say this year is maybe more akin to a traditional Coronation Street Christmas.
“It very funny in places, it’s very silly and it’s really heartwarming and joyous.
“There’s a really strong community vibe this year where we were able to film it at a time where there was a window of opportunity to do some stuff when actors didn’t have to be two metres apart all the time.
“So it’s got more of that Coronation Street community on the cobbles type feeling than some of the previous Christmases had, certainly last Christmas we were shooting it in the midst of the strictest of restrictions so we couldn’t really do that.
“But this year, it’s very jolly and very community focused, very family focused.”
The show’s producer teased that the festive episode will feature one of the “silliest fights” he has ever seen on any programme and will contain the bizarre line “smell my Marigold”.
He said that when he first watched the Christmas special back in November he did not feel “very festive”, but by the end of it he had a “mince pie-shaped lump in his throat”.
MacLeod added: “It was just really heartwarming and tears of joy rather than misery, it was just a glorious thing. So I’m really hoping the audience will like it as much as I did.”
Reflecting on the past year of filming the soap, the producer said he was “incredibly proud” of the whole Corrie team for the episodes they had created amidst the coronavirus restrictions.
He said: “Our team have been particularly brilliant this year, working in all the restrictions we’ve had to force them to endure in terms of social distancing, and reduced numbers of staff in studio, reduced numbers of characters and scenes, nobody’s able to do their jobs in the normal way.
“And to keep producing what I’m sitting in edit suites every week watching, which is brilliant episodes of Coronation Street, is a heck of an achievement.
“The quality has just been exceptional, the determination that everyone connected to the show has had to just keep it at the top of its game has been just a really humbling thing to see from my point of view.”
Coronation Street continues on ITV.