Thank god the new Corrie producer is listening to the fans and clearing out the dead wood. NewsZone examines the news that several deadwood characters are to be cleared out of Coronation Street.

Let's be honest – or to put it another way, let's give you our opinion – Coronation Street isn't all that great just now, is it? Sure its ratings may be steady – and just about out performing EastEnders – but that isn't a sign of quality. While EastEnders has re-invented itself slowly over the past several years, introducing well received characters – on the whole – and bringing back human storylines – and even humour! - Coronation Street has struggled to bring in strong, good and well liked new characters. Even the 'darlings' of the soap, the Connors, are now depleted with another one – Liam – fleeing the soap. The Connors have also suffered from the rubbish Baby-Swap storyline that has dragged on and on and the centre of it are two annoying teenage boys. It's incredibly hard to feel sympathy for either of them because they are such annoying and bland characters. The Baby-Swap storyline is just one of several that has dragged on far too long and is now boring. So Coronation Street desperately needs to re-vitalise itself before its too late.

Perhaps the worst of the 'deadwood' characters is an entire family of wood – The Mortons. Surely they are to the Street what the Ferreira's were to EastEnders? Remember that family? The family everyone hated? The most dull, boring and annoying family in EastEnders history? Well the Mortons are the Corrie version. There isn't a likable character between them since the oldest daughter, who was clearly very smart, ran off for London. Most of their scenes revolve around them arguing about who's shift it is at the kebab shop – thrilling stuff. The only mildly interesting storyline they had happened off-screen - Jerry Morton was arrested in Milan but we never got to see any of this. And that folks was the only interesting storyline to befall the family. And Grandad Morton has disappeared without trace and his trainee grand-daughter hasn't even noticed his mysterious disappearance! How good a copper will she make when she can't even notice her grandfather's disappearance? Or the younger Morton Brat sneaking out night after night going partying. Or her brothers mild drug abuse. Or the lad next door being a psychopath and being responsible for pushing Gail down the stairs. All this going on, at once, and the girl notices nothing! Yep she'd make the perfect copper! But rejoice because they are gone and hopefully the kebab shop with them. The sooner the better, it should have happened months ago. But Steve Frost was so woefully out of touch with his audience he couldn't see that the Mortons were so unpopular.

Also bidding farewell to Weatherfield, after a much short stay than the Mortons, are the pointless Bookies. Fenner and his son, PC Harker from The Bill, have been given the axe after only months. Clearly this new producer isn't afraid to cut out characters that haven't worked out very promptly, unlike Frost who would have had them there for years. Quite what the point of the two bookie characters are isn't clearly yet. Though clearly Liz is destined to have an affair with the father because like Sally she can't keep her knickers on once she's married to someone. Meanwhile the son is being taken for a ride by Leanne who is seemingly working her way through every man on Coronation Street and screwing him over. Previous victims include most of the Male members of the Baldwin family and Gail's precious son, Nick. We can only imagine than Dan will become the latest victim of Leanne's schemes while Harry becomes the latest victim of Liz's bed.

And then the final character to make his departure is Vernon – a man who won several awards in our soap awards last year but none of the good ones. Vernon's departure is an event worth celebrating. Now its a good start, even deadwood characters going, but what about the others? Top of the list is Sean Tully who's exit is LONG overdue, closely followed by Dev, Kevin and the remainder of the Connor family.

Meanwhile, Margi Clarke will be returning to the soap as Jackie Dobbs and Graeme Hawley will return as sleazy schoolteacher John Stape. Quite why they're bringing the latter back is anybody's guess  but Margi should add a bit of colour to things - goodness knows the street could do with being livened up a bit.

Written by Doug Lambert
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