Emmerdale Series Producer Stuart Blackburn will take over from Phil Collinson as producer of Coronation Street from January, it has been announced.

Blackburn has been series producer of Emmerdale since early last year overseeing storylines including Cain’s attack and Zak’s subsequent mental illness, Ashley’s abuse of Sandy, and John Barton’s death. He will also oversee the soap’s 40th anniversary later this month.

Blackburn commented: “I’m in the very privileged position of producing Emmerdale’s hour-long live episode to celebrate the programme’s 40th birthday, and I get to produce Coronation Street too. Life just couldn’t get any better.

“Emmerdale is a very special programme to me, as I was born and brought up in West Yorkshire. I’m in total admiration of the cast and production team as they are all incredibly talented people. They do an amazing job and I’ll be sad to leave them.

“Coronation Street also has a place in my heart, as I believe passionately in storytelling, and although I recognise it’s a massive responsibility, I have the best job in the world.”

Collinson, who has been producer of Coronation Street since 2010, will remain with ITV in a new role developing new dramas from ITV’s base in Manchester.

During his time with Coronation Street the former Doctor Who producer oversaw the show’s 50th anniversary which featured a tram crash and a special live episode centred around the aftermath.

Collinson said:  “It’s been an honour to produce Coronation Street and I’ll be sad to leave. But the drama can only stay at the top of its game if the producer is re-energised every two to three years.

“By the time I say farewell I’ll have been with the programme for nearly three years and produced almost 750 episodes. It’s an achievement I’m hugely proud of, but I know I couldn’t have done it without the amazing production team, writers, cast and crew who work tirelessly to produce the best drama on television. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

“I wish Stuart every success, and look forward now to taking up my new role developing drama and producing brand new drama from our base in Manchester.”

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