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Corrie producer: 'Next year is crucial'

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Coronation Street's executive producer Kieran Roberts has admitted that the next year is crucial for the soap as they lay the foundations for the next 50 years.

Roberts told the Daily Star Sunday that he is always looking for innovative ways to keep the ITV1 show fresh and hopes to continue to build Coronation Street as a brand.

He said: "The first 50 years is already behind us. Tomorrow is the 51st - a very crucial year for us - and we are in great health. Over the last ten years we have seen a decline in ratings. The main drivers for that have been multi-channel competition and the digital switch-over but I think things are settling down.

"We are constantly looking to diversify and increase revenue streams and we are already doing that. We will continue with sponsorship and we have branched out online. Gary's Army Diaries, about what happens to the character outside the Street, has received over 600,000 hits.

"Coronation Street content on itv.com has had two million hits this week alone, while five minutes into the live episode we became the number one subject on Twitter. What is important for me is the expansion of the brand. We are already doing that with the game, the stage show, the DVD and CD of music inspired by the show, and the film we made for BBC Four." Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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