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Street axes further eight characters

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Another eight characters are to be axed from ITV's Coronation Street, according to an article in The Sun today.

The news comes just four days after the parts of Matt and Charlie Ramsden (Stephen Beckett, Clare McGlinn) and Bobbi Lewis (Naomi Russell) were written out of the soap, in a bid to up the ante against BBC rival EastEnders.

An insider told the newspaper: “We’ve had axemen on the show before, but there’s never been a massacre of these proportions. The cobblestones of Weatherfield will be awash with claret.???

The casualties include corner shop boss Dev Alahan (Jimi Harkashan), barmaid Shelley Unwin (Sally Lindsay), garage mechanic Sam Kingston (Scott Wright), nurse Molly Hardcastle (Jacqueline Kington), and Gail's conman boyfriend Richard Hillman (Brian Capron).

The Grimshaw family will also depart from the Street - including Eileen (Sue Cleaver) and sons Jason (Ryan Thomas) and Todd (Bruno Langley).

The source continued: “It’s Carolyn ‘Chainsaw’ Reynolds from here on in. There’s that much chopping to do that if she used an axe it would take forever. The former producer Brian Park chopped his way through nine characters, but Carolyn is close to knocking off a dozen. It hasn’t done much for cast morale. Only last year the top earners had to sign up for pay cuts or face the chop themselves.???

New "strong" characters will be brought in over the coming months, but the number will be limited in order to keep the wage bill down.

“All this means the powers-that-be can bring in characters viewers will warm to," the insider added. "The problem with the current crop is that apart from those well-established stars the remainder have no great appeal. What the soap’s crying out for is strong believable characters.

“All the cast knew the chopper would fall when Carolyn took over, but the big surprise will be her chainsaw approach. Exactly how all the characters leave hasn’t yet been decided, but Carolyn and new producer Kieran Roberts, who joined from Emmerdale, will have a big say. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride.???

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