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The soap bosses set for change around

New Corrie boss Stuart Blackburn

ITV Studios has confirmed that Emmerdale Producer, Stuart Blackburn has been appointed the new Producer of the nation’s favourite soap, Coronation Street, as of January 2013 when current Producer Phil Collinson steps down.

Former Doctor Who Producer, Phil Collinson has been with the soap since 2010 and was responsible for overseeing the highly acclaimed 50th anniversary week of episodes including the live episode, and has helped the soap win numerous awards including a BAFTA and RTS award. He will remain at ITV in a new role working with Kieran Roberts to develop new drama from ITV’s base in Manchester.

A drama graduate of Birmingham University, Stuart is no stranger to Coronation Street 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 on Wednesday 17 October, ITV1, 7pm will be his 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 says: “It’s been an honour to produce Coronation Street and I’ll be sad to leave.”

“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.”

The process will now begin to find a new producer for Emmerdale to take the programme beyond its 40th birthday and into a new era.