Coronation Street planned pigeon flu pandemic storyline but scrapped it

Bosses thought it was 'too far-fetched'

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Coronation Street was planning to have a dramatic bird flu style pigeon pandemic storyline.

The ITV soap would have had Tyrone pay homage to cobbles legend Jack Duckworth by reopening his pigeon loft.

Tyrone would have been the cause of a new pandemic (Credit: ITV)

Only horror would strike when one of the pigeons turned out to be sick.

It would emerge to be at the centre of a new bird flu pandemic.

However laughing bosses scrapped the plot fearing it was “too far fetched”.

Read more: Coronation Street SPOILERS: Disaster strikes as residents try to save the cobbles

Executive producer Iain Macleod told press for the 60th anniversary call how the idea came about.

“About a year ago, when we were talking about what we would do for our 60th anniversary, two of our writers pitched a storyline for a global pandemic, would you believe?” he said.

“It originated in Tyrone’s pigeon loft.

coronavirus 2020
The soap was planning its own pandemic storyline (Credit: Unsplash)

“He’d taken up pigeon racing in homage to Jack [Duckworth], and it came in as some form of bird flu and spread round the street.

“The consensus in the writing room was, ‘No, it’s just far too far-fetched, no-one’s going to buy that’.

“Fast forward to now and it all looks horribly prescient.”

Coronation Street’s Hollywood-style stunt scrapped over pandemic

The real-life pandemic then came along and forced the soap to scrap its major stunt for the 60th.

John Whiston said: “We had plans in place for something that was going to be big and then the pandemic happened.

“So what we have done is concentrate on the stories we have running at the moment and peak them during the week.”

The 60th anniversary week will see the residents take on Ray, Debbie and Gary (Credit: ITV)

Iain added: “In terms of the stories, they are fairly much the same thing.

“What it forced us to do is to go back to brass tacks – focus on character and writing and performance.

“Still telling brilliant stories but just boil them down to their essence.

Read more: Coronation Street SPOILERS: Geoff sets fire to No.6

“It’s forced us to distil what makes Coronation Street so brilliant.

“And push that front and centre, rather than some of the more Hollywood trappings that have come to characterise big event weeks in continuing drama.”

Corrie’s 60th anniversary week begins December 7 at 7.30pm.

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