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Ex-Corrie star Johnny Briggs slams 'dead comedy' soap

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Former Corrie actor Johnny Briggs

© Rex Features

Former Coronation Street star Johnny Briggs has criticised the show, claiming that there is no "fun" in it anymore.

The 75-year-old actor appeared in the ITV1 soap as Underworld boss Mike Baldwin for 30 years. Briggs's criticism comes after producer Phil Collinson hit back at claims that ratings have fallen dramatically.

Briggs told The Mirror: "There's no laughter or humour. The Duckworths have gone, Hilda Ogden is gone, the comedy and drama is dead. People were once happy in the soap. There is no-one in it I recognise now.

"I watched the 50th anniversary episode [in December] but could only stand five minutes before I flicked over to the golf. There is no fun in the show anymore."

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Briggs continued: "The writers have lost their way by bringing in all these unknowns and trying to make it interesting by introducing different characters.

"I haven't watched it recently so I don't know about the new gay characters, but my philosophy is, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. It's so sad to learn the ratings have gone down. It's heartbreaking. It used to be a great show - it was an old friend to me. Now I can't bring myself to watch, what a terrible shame."

However, Briggs claimed that he would return to the Manchester serial, if storyliners could find a way to bring him back - despite Mike dying on screen in 2006.

"I might have to come out of retirement to return to the Street," he said. "I would seriously consider going back if they paid me the right money. I was the JR Ewing of Weatherfield – and that's what the show lacks, another great villain, a big star."

Executive producer Kieran Robertson and cast members including William Roache and Michelle Collins have all spoken out in defence of the show this week.

Watch Mike Baldwin's death in Coronation Street below:

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