Coronation Street boss Iain MacLeod has promised that 2022 will be “seismic” for the residents of Weatherfield with big drama set to affect many of the show’s major characters.
So, here’s a full spoiler rundown as to what to expect from the months ahead on the ITV soap:
Emma and Faye’s massive cover-up
Right at the start of January, we’ll see a tipsy Emma and sober learner driver Faye out celebrating the new year, only to then hit an old man with their car while travelling home.
“This is a story of two really likeable, decent young women who suddenly find themselves miles out of their depth with potentially really serious life-changing consequences,” says MacLeod.
The old chap, whose name is Ted, initially assures the girls that he’s fine. But, back on the Street itself, lawyer Imran tells Emma that she shouldn’t have been overseeing learner driver Faye while under the influence and that an accident would land them in trouble.
“Imran’s words set everything in motion and the situation soon turns into a total nightmare. Things take a turn for the worse and both Emma and Faye realise that there are a number of witnesses, like Imran, who could incriminate them.
“They’re potentially facing really serious legal ramifications.”
Abi battles Imran over their baby’s future
Abi’s one-night stand with Imran following Corey’s trial will turn out to have big repercussions following her discovery that she’s expecting the lawyer’s baby.
As MacLeod hints, the fight ooks set to jeopardise not only Abi’s future with Kevin, but also Imran’s relationship with Toyah, which is already on shaky ground:
“Abi will be pitched into a protracted legal battle that sees her risk losing Kevin and Jack. It’s a David versus Goliath struggle for her to try and keep hold of her life.
“And it also threatens to destroy Imran and Toyah’s relationship because she, at present, doesn’t know the whole truth about what went on in the aftermath of the trial. So it will test her levels of forgiveness to the max and force Imran to go over to the dark side.
“He’ll question whether he’s the decent guy he always felt he was.”
And fans can certainly expect some blindsiding twists as the emotive plotline progresses: “A bomb goes off in this story. It’s probably the last thing you imagine could happen at the end of all this. It’s big and shocking and turns into this gobsmacking cataclysm.
“I think it’ll make people fall off their chairs with the shock of it.”
Fatal Attraction-style thriller for Lydia
Newcomer Lydia has already been revealed to have had a past with one-time lothario Adam while he was at university. And now it seems that she’s set to threaten his current stability with partner Sarah.
“This is an updated version of those 80s and 90s thrillers like Fatal Attraction,” says the Corrie boss. “Looking back at those movies now, they look horribly dated in terms of their gender politics. So we asked ourselves, ‘what would a story of that type look like in the 21st century?’ And I hope we’ve cracked it.”
MacLeod has promised that there’ll be “no kind of vilification for the scorned woman” but that Lydia “will be the catalyst for Adam and Sarah risking destroying their own relationship”.
When it comes to what happens next, we’re promised secrecy, scheming and subterfuge – and a situation that “gradually becomes more and more nightmarish for Adam and Sarah” as it unfolds…
Amy’s relationship with bad boy Jacob
Jacob, who put the frighteners on both Simon and Leanne in 2021, will return to the neighbourhood this year as he enters into a relationship with Amy Barlow.
And it’s a shock development that will leave Steve and Tracy reeling. “The big question is: how will they react to her suddenly being in a romantic relationship with perhaps the most unsuitable boyfriend they’ve ever heard of?
“First, they try reverse psychology by cutting Amy off financially, to comedy effect for the viewers. But, in the end, they have to bite the bullet and try to get along with this lad.”
And rather than being the threatening presence he once was, Jacob will now be seen trying to turn over a new leaf:
“He’s trying to redeem himself. And I think fans will start to see him a new light. He’s trying to make amends with people like Leanne and Simon and rehabilitate himself.
“But it’s also a rom com at the heart of it. It’s Meet the Parents done Coronation Street style.”
New relationship for Yasmeen and Stu
Quite often, soaps hit the reset button after a character experiences trauma, but Corrie is aiming to explore the after-effects of Yasmeen’s suffering at the hands of Geoff when she embarks on a tentative new relationship with Stu.
“Can Yasmeen trust again?” asks MacLeod. “Has her psychology regarding relationships and friendships been irrevocably damaged? Or can she find a way through that?
“This is a story about Yasmeen’s lack of self-esteem giving way to the realisation that this man genuinely likes her. But we’ll have to see whether she can get past the damage Geoff did and embrace a happy future. It’s a fresh way of re-examining Geoff without it being a re-tread.”
And as for the character of Stu, fans can expect him to make quite the impact on the neighbourhood at large: “We imagine him to be what Peter Barlow might be if he was in his mid-60s. So he’s a little bit rough and ready.
“He likes carousing and causing trouble and he’s a bit of a firecracker going off. So, that will bring its own challenges.”
Joseph runs away
The attention being given to the young quads in the Winter-Brown household will result in an unsettled Joseph making a momentous decision about his future:
“Joseph’s a sensitive lad who’s already had tragedy in his backstory with the death of his mum.
So, we’ll see what happens to him now when he’s essentially living in a box room while his parents’ attention is being lavished on these four screaming little children. It’s a situation that causes Joseph to run away, which will provoke widespread panic.”
But MacLeod is keen to stress that Joseph won’t now morph into a rebel of the David Platt variety: “Joseph is not going to turn into a classic tearaway teen. It’s a story that’s got much more vulnerability and sensitivity to it. He’s not going to become a stroppy kid like so many other soap children have been.”
Within the same household, Corrie will also continue to explore the issues surrounding young Aled’s deafness, with mum Gemma set to make a faux pas in her efforts to be supportive:
“Gemma, in her eagerness to be an ally to the deaf community, will go too far in pursuit of a very admirable goal but ends up in a significant incident of public disorder. It’s a classic, comedic Coronation Street story. Gemma never knows quite when to quit or close her gob.”
Summer’s life falls apart
We’ve witnessed Summer’s self-esteem issues at the tail end of 2021, but those concerns will come into sharp focus this year as Corrie “digs further into her experiences as a diabetic young woman”.
Pressure to achieve at school as well as her romantic travails will cause Summer to take a gamble with her health.
“It’s going to be heartbreaking watching this promising young woman disintegrate,” says MacLeod, “but it will be a really relatable story about the pressures of being a teenage girl. And it’s also revealing things about the diabetic condition of which I wasn’t really aware.”
Thankfully, though, it seems that help will be coming from Summer before too long: “In the best tradition of our storytelling, it will have a redemptive ending.
“Summer will ultimately come through and value herself for who she is rather than aspiring to some kind of abstract academic ideal.”
The Barlows v the Platts
Two tribes will go to war when Daniel and David’s animosity deepens and widens before threatening to engulf all members of the Barlow and Platt families:
“It’s going to become a fairly pronounced and bitter feud between David and Daniel, which also ends up sucking in Sarah and Adam. It’s got a clan warfare vibe.”
So might this be reminiscent of the Barlow-Baldwin fireworks that dominated Coronation Street during the 1980s? “It would be a fool’s errand to try and recreate famous rivalries of old, like the one between Ken and Mike.
“I don’t want to jinx it by saying that this has the potential to be that legendary. But it does have the potential to run for a really long time, as both Daniel and David are rooted in huge legacy families.”
Phill’s dark side revealed
The relationship tribulations of Fiz will continue to fuel much drama in the year ahead, with MacLeod admitting that he’s longing to see another scrap between the two men in her life: Phill and Tyrone.
“I’m constantly on the lookout for when I can have Tyrone and Phill have another ludicrous fight as the one at Christmas was just the best. So there’ll be lots more comedy feuding between those two men, which will give the audience cause to question Phill’s motives.”
As for Fiz’s long-term future, the Corrie boss does have the path mapped out: “I know what Fiz’s happy ending looks like. But it’s a long and complicated story. Once you’ve been hurt and humiliated like Fiz has been, would taking your ex back be straightforward. Would pride let you?”
Tim’s health crisis
News that Tim needs a triple heart bypass operation will end up being “a colossal threat” to his and Sally’s marriage.
Says MacLeod: “Tim and Sally will question the nature of their relationship and what the rest of the lives together might look like. It’s massive.”
But viewers who love the banter between the Metcalfes can rest assured that Corrie has no plans to end this particular Street marriage:
“Every so often, somebody comes into the story conference and pitches a plotline that sends Tim and Sally off with different people. But the two of them just feel right together. And that’s why the audience will now be willing them to get through this.
“There’s a huge level of investment in whether of not they can get over this hurdle.”