Coronation Street producer Kate Oates is leaving the show after two years

Coronation Street producer Kate Oates has confirmed that she’s leaving the ITV soap.

Kate, who replaced Stuart Blackburn in the top job two years ago, confirmed the news in an official statement today (April 24) – explaining that she’s “excited” to move forward.

Current Emmerdale boss Iain MacLeod will take over as producer of Coronation Street, with the changes taking effect from June.

Kate is moving to work with ITV Studios-owned label Tall Story Pictures, where she’ll produce the upcoming second series of Bancroft, starring Sarah Parish.

Speaking today, Kate explained: “Being a part of Coronation Street has quite simply been one of the best experiences of my life. I am proud of the stories we have told and the impact they have had – and I’ve had a ball working with one of the best and most talented teams in television.

“I’ll be forever grateful for this opportunity and all it has given me, but I’m also excited to try something new. I can’t wait to make a start on Bancroft, working with the brilliant Sarah Parish and Tall Story Pictures – and I’ll continue to love watching both ITV soaps from the comfort of my sofa.”

Iain MacLeod added: “Working on Emmerdale at a time when it’s enjoyed such success has been a total joy and I will miss the people and the place immensely – it’s a special show full of huge talent.

“Only Corrie could have tempted me away. It gave me my first job in TV as an assistant researcher many years ago and to be returning as producer is the fulfilment of a long-standing dream.

“It’ll be like a reunion with an old friend and I look forward to continuing the amazing work already being done by everyone connected with the show.”

Although Kate’s tenure as Corrie producer has been divisive, storylines such as Bethany Platt’s grooming ordeal and Pat Phelan’s reign of terror have drawn in some of the show’s highest viewing figures in years.

However, the news of Kate’s departure also follows a number of public criticisms, and defences, over the show’s recent focus on ‘dark’ plotlines, including most recently the rape of David Platt.

John Whiston, ITV Studios’ Creative Director for Coronation Street and Emmerdale, has now spoken out about the producer changeover.

He said: “There’s a lot to praise here! Kate Oates has transformed Coronation Street during her tenure. This has been reflected both in the huge critical acclaim the show has been getting and in the ratings. We are now used to opening the overnights and seeing Coronation Street has delivered its highest ratings for many years, a herculean achievement in this box set era.

“Kate has done this whilst putting on screen some groundbreaking and socially important stories such as the Bethany grooming story and David’s rape story. It is a testament to her brilliant editorial touch that these stories, though difficult, have been both credible and engaging.

“Meanwhile, Kate has unleashed on us one of the finest villains in soap history with Pat Phelan and his dastardly deeds. And the show has continued day in day out to provide the viewer with top notch Corrie humour from Liz to Moira, from Steve to Tracy, from Sally to Tim.

“Doing all this while taking the show from five episodes to six episodes a week is a phenomenal achievement by Kate and something of which those who work on the show and those who watch it are hugely appreciative.”

On Iain MacLeod’s time at Emmerdale, John added: “Meanwhile, over the Pennines, Emmerdale has been going through its own golden period under Iain MacLeod’s aegis. It too has built its audience volume and share. And it has delivered some truly memorable storylines.

“Ashley’s dementia was notable not just for the strength of the story, but for the way it was told with some soap defining drama, such as the episode all seen through Ashley’s point of view.

“Equally hard hitting, though in a different way, was the multi-car pile-up on Hotten bypass. Emmerdale has a reputation for delivering big stunts and this one was the biggest and most spectacular, as well as the most intricately plotted, and it came from the perfect soap brain of the supremely talented Iain MacLeod.

“It is no wonder Emmerdale has won pretty much a clean sweep of the awards in the last year, a run interrupted only by Coronation Street‘s RTS Award.”

Iain’s departure from Emmerdale will spark a production restructure at the popular show.

Former ITV drama commissioner Jane Hudson has been appointed as Emmerdale‘s executive producer, and will be responsible for the future editorial and creative direction of the show.

Assistant producer Kate Brooks and series script producer Laura Shaw have both been promoted to the title of Producer, a position they’ll share. Kate and Laura will produce blocks of episodes on a rotational basis and take responsibility for the day-to-day running of the programme.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Coronation Street spoilers, as David’s latest behaviour shocks his family and Zeedan hopes for a reunion with Rana.

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