Stuart Blackburn took over as Coronation Street producer almost a year exactly to the day and it has been a little bit busy, hasn’t it?
It has been explosive, emotive and entertaining storylines galore since the former Emmerdale producer came to the helm.
The story which has everyone talking at the moment is Hayley Cropper, who has terminal pancreatic cancer and will shortly take her own life.
Stuart said: "It is such a sensitive subject – it is not just the Right to Die, which is big enough, it is cancer which affects all of us. And Julie Hesmondhalgh, who has played Hayley for 16 years, is leaving. It was like the perfect storm. The onus to get it right was massive.
"That was the big fear – we knew to do it right, it would have to take months. We've found moments of lightness, real tenderness and love.
"I think it would be an insult to anyone out there who is going through it for us to rush it. We have to be in it for the long haul."
Stuart also confirmed that no former cast members will come back for Hayley's funeral.
This Morning viewers were hopeful that Katherine Kelly, who played Becky McDonald, would reappear.
He said: "I can categorically say that Becky will not be returning. We’re gutted about that."
However, in the last year, Stuart has brought back a number of familiar faces.
"There is 53 years of history, that is what is so brilliant," he said.
"Bringing back Todd and Liz behind the bar. It goes back to its roots - the show was based on those huge matriarchs."
As well as orchestrating soap scenes on the cobbles, Stuart has been overseeing the the move of 500 cast and crew from their central Manchester studios to a new state-of-the-art studio in MediaCityUK.
He said: "It is fantastic – it is years in the planning. We moved in last week and started shooting – the cast and crew are so happy.
"We completely rebuilt hundreds of thousands of bricks and the biggest tree ever imported into the country."
Stuart ended his interview by revealing how bad he felt about Michelle Keegan's character Tina McIntyre being killed off in 2014.
He said: "I feel so bad – I promised Michelle Keegan that I’d leave the door open.
"But then one of the writers came up with the story and I had to sit down with her and say: 'You should never trust a producer!'
"It is an irresistible story..."
For all the latest Cornoation Street gossip, visit our dedicated Corrie website.
More About Goodbye Hayley
- Coronation Street’s Roy to get a message from the grave from Hayley
- Coronation Street’s Fiz ‘really angry’ over Hayley’s right to die decision
- Goodbye Hayley: Coronation Street’s residents gather for funeral
- Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh’s moving chat with cancer patient
- Coronation Street: Goodbye Hayley – the full roundup
- Coronation Street’s Roy Cropper threatens to boycott Hayley’s funeral
- Coronation Street: Fiz and Anna will be Roy’s emotional support
- Corrie spoiler (Mon, Jan 20, 8.30pm): will Hayley take her own life?
- Corrie spoiler (Fri, Jan 17, 8.30pm): Hayley says her final goodbyes
- Coronation Street exclusive: Michelle Keegan on Tina and Peter’s affair