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Friday 6th December 2019

TV legend slates Coronation Street for its "horror" storyline

Veteran talk-show host feels "affronted"

Considering he's interviewed the likes of Oliver Reed and Rod Hull and Emu, you'd think that nothing would shock Michael Parkinson.

But the TV legend has launched into a scathing attack on Coronation Street over its brutal scenes involving Pat Phelan's kidnap plot.

Parky, 82, told the Radio Times that the storyline was more suited to a "horror channel", and made him "recoil".

Parkinson suggested that the recent Phelan storyline is a far cry from Corrie's early days (Credit: ITV)

Corrie viewers were gripped and repulsed in equal measures as Phelan abducted Andy Carver and Vinny Ashford.

The deranged killer promised Andy that he'd set him free if he shot Vinny dead. But after the terrified waiter had done the dirty deed, Phelan murdered him too.

Read more: Coronation Street's Phelan reportedly set to kill FOUR more people 

And for Yorkshireman Parky, it was all a bit much for a show that he's held dear for a long time.

He said: “I never imagined I would recoil from watching Coronation Street.

I never imagined I would recoil from watching Coronation Street.

"But the storyline of the kidnapping and torture of Andy and Vinny, and their brutal murder by Pat Phelan, had little to do with that gentle, funny reminder of life in the North Country I discovered and so admired in the early 1960s when I joined Granada Television."

A brutal storyline saw Andy and Vinny murdered by their deranged kidnapper (Credit: ITV)

Parkinson – who retired from hosting his talk show in 2007 and now co-owns a pub with his son – added that Corrie's overwhelming success had "sadly stimulated the beginnings of a change that allowed Pat Phelan to become a major player in a storyline more suited to a horror channel than a family show.”

He concluded: “I am affronted by what I see as a gem like Coronation Street in danger of becoming just another formulaic soap.”

Read more: Emmerdale cleans up at the Inside Soap Awards

Meanwhile, the veteran star has chipped in on the recent 'sexual harrassment' debate, suggesting that attitudes have changed significantly over the past few decades.

Referring to his talk show, he told the Telegraph: “Shirley MacLaine told me I was a male chauvinist pig, but laughed about it.

Andy was persuaded to murder Vinny – but it didn't secure his escape (Credit: ITV)

“She always said she liked me because I flirted, but you can’t do that now. You can’t touch somebody, even like that.

“These were rich times, and I indulged myself with all my fantasies.”