CORONATION Street boss Iain MacLeod has admitted the show's cast have been ignoring his calls over fears he will bring them bad news about being killed off.
As the show moves into a brand new year, it appears that killer Stephen Reid (Todd Boyce) is far from over with his dastardly streak.
Having already killed off Jenny's partner Leo and been involved in near misses with Leo's father Teddy and his own mother Audrey Roberts, Stephen looks set to go the whole way once again.
Now show boss Iain has admitted the cast are scared thatthey could be next.
The producer said: "Whenever you’ve got a killer on a soap, the whole cast is worried – is it going to be me? When I call an actor in for a chat, they think ‘That’s it! Todd Boyce is going to do me in!’ Lots of people should be worried.
“I love Todd. He sees Stephen as a very desperate man backed into a corner – a very enlightened view of who he is!”
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Stephen first took drastic action when he bumped off Leo during a scuffle on the back balcony of Underworld where Leo's dead body fell into a bin.
So far no one has located the body after Stephen disposed of it himself but Iain has teased that that could all be changing very soon.
Iain said: “Needless to say, in a soap, no bodies ever stay buried for long.” The killer will soon encounter a challenge in the form of Leo’s dad Teddy, who realises Stephen might have something to do with the disappearance."
The show's head honcho has admitted to seeing similarities between Stephen and notorious villain Richard Hillman and he implied he sees Stephen as his villainous successor.
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He added: “He has shades of Richard Hillman for me – that kind of pomposity and refusal to accept you’re on the bones of your behind. His need to be top dog drives him into increasingly desperate acts over the next 12 months.”
Giving a glimpse into what's to come on the Corrie cobbles during 2023, Iain hinted that it could be Alison King's character Carla Connor that could be next to fall foul of the Street's baddie.
Iain spoke of the two by saying: “When Carla belittles Stephen and makes him make the tea in front of clients, she is unwittingly poking this hornets’ nest.”
Teasing its unpredictability further, he got fans excited by admitting: "At some point all the hornets come out but probably not in the way you expect. If anyone predicts what Stephen does to Carla, I’ll eat my hat.
“His plan is so out there and dark that I’d be surprised if anyone spots it coming over the hill.”
Alongside Stephen's reign of terror, handsome newbie Damon Hay will attempt to woo one of the famous residents of the cobbles with his infectious personality and charm.
He said of Damon and his new love interest: "As the year goes on, he's got this magnetic attraction for a notable high-profile female character on the show, who is going to have her head turned in a way that has very far-reaching consequences.
"I'm currently working on storylines for June and there's a build-up and then a colossal explosion in that story involving Damon and this love story that will be on air in June."
Also set to be front and centre of the show is Summer Spellman and her surrogacy plot as well as Max Turner and his encounters with the evil Griff.
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