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Veteran Corrie writer John Stevenson dies aged 86

Soapworld

Veteran Corrie writer John Stevenson dies aged 86

Coronation Street scriptwriter John Stevenson has died at the age of 86.

Between 1976 and 2006, Stevenson wrote 447 episodes of the soap, becoming one of its most prolific writers.

He was responsible for the creation of iconic characters such as Mike Baldwin and Jack Duckworth, according to the show’s former archivist Daran Little.

Paying tribute to Stevenson on Twitter, Little wrote:

“Just heard that John Stevenson has died. Totally devastated by this. Tony Warren aside, John was the greatest writer to ever work on Coronation Street. The creator of Mike Baldwin, Alec Gilroy, Jack Duckworth, Fred Elliott, Ashley Peacock and so many others. Taught me so much. Oh John, my dear friend, dad figure… once voted the Scriptwriters Scriptwriter by his peers. The best of the best. A true comic icon.”

Stevenson took a break from Coronation Street between 2000-2002, which reports note was due to a dispute with then-producer Jane McNaught.

In 2016, he criticised ITV’s plans for an additional episode of the soap, taking the output up to six episodes per week.

“When it got to four episodes it became too much,” he said at a Coronation Street event. “Before you could hear a line in rehearsal, realise it wasn’t working and tell the director to change it. Those days are gone.”

In 1982, one of his scripts for the show featuring guest characters Wesley and Cyril McGregor became the idea for a sitcom. With Julian Roach he created The Brothers McGregor which ran for four years and 26 episodes from 1985 to 1988.

He also co-created 1980s comedy drama Brass with Roach, and wrote episodes of Heartbeat, Oh, Doctor Beeching! and The Grimleys.

Sean Wilson, who played Martin Platt in Coronation Street between 1985-2005, said:

“From a little knowing wink to a rip-roaring belly laugh, John was a craftsman of TV humour. His like will never be seen again in TV. He always had kind words for me throughout my tenure there and wrote some of my favourite episodes ever. Rest well John with a wry smile of contentment x.”

Maureen Holdsworth star Sherrie Hewson commented: “So very sad xxx”.

In 2005, Stevenson was awarded the Lifetime Achievement prize at the British Soap Awards.

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