Corrie stars fear the axe – Daily TV round-up

New boss dubbed 'the Grim Reaper' arrives from Emmerdale

Stars of Coronation Street are said to be fearing for their jobs, following the appointment of a new boss on the show.

Stuart Blackburn, who was a former Corrie story editor, has taken over at the helm of the show after moving from fellow northern soap 'Emmerdale'.

Blackburn... take over causes wobbles on the cobbles (Copyright: Rex)

But his arrival has been met with concern, with him reportedly being been dubbed 'the grim reaper' by some members of the cast.

Though ITV has denied rumours that up to 10 members of the cast could be culled, a source on the show told the Daily Mirror that 'there are a few people full of jitters in here. They don’t know whether their faces will fit or not. And with mortgages and commitments to think of it’s a panicky time for a few people'.

[Related story: Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh to leave show]

“Even if they don’t get the bullet they can be kind of sidelined, which means their pay packet will take a battering until it is decided to bring them back in to the fold,” the source added.

It's thought that Blackburn is planning to bring back Tina O'Brien's character Sarah-Louise Platt to the show, five years after she left the show.

It's thought that concern over whose roles are safe stemmed from recent news of the departure of Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Corrie fave Hayley Cropper.

An ITV spokesperson told the paper that there was nothing 'sinister' about plans to meet each of the cast one-by-one.

“He has a very open door policy. Literally, his door is always open. He is very approachable and very friendly. He has said, ‘Come and see me, I’m really happy to see you’,” they said. [Daily Mirror]

Also in today's press

Graham Norton is to present a seven-hour version of his chat show for 'Comic Relief'. He will chat to 50 guests in a complete takeover of BBC3 from 7pm to 2am. So far, guests include 'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith, David Walliams and Miranda Hart. [The Sun]

Dame Maggie Smith is signed on for another series of 'Downton Abbey', it's been confirmed. She will reprise her role as the Dowager Countess in the fourth series of the show, and in the Christmas special. [The Sun]

Meanwhile, Damien Lewis will back for the third series of 'Homeland'. “He’s alive so of course he’ll be back,” said producer Howard Gordon. “One of the great challenges of next season is how he’ll be back. But there’s no doubt he’ll be back.” Lewis scooped the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama gong for his role as Brody in the drama. [Metro]