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Monday, 7 January, 2002, 12:49 GMT
Coronation Street 'cull' denied
Dev Alahan with Geena Gregory
Actor Jimi Harkishan is said to be leaving
Newspaper reports that eight more stars of ITV1 soap Coronation Street are to be axed have been dismissed as "complete speculation".

A spokeswoman for Granada Television, makers of the soap, said the Sun newspaper had seemingly plucked "random names" out of the air.

The newspaper reports characters such as Dev Alahan, (actor Jimi Harkishan), barmaid Shelley Unwin (Sally Lindsay), nurse Molly Hardcastle (Jacqueline Kington) and mechanic Sam Kingston (Scott Wright) are among those expected to leave the soap.

Last week Granada announced three characters were to leave the show but the Sun's report says the eight names are in addition to those already listed.


The newspaper said it was "the bloodiest cull in the history of the TV soap" and that some of the actors in question had not yet been informed of the decision by Granada's controller of drama, Carolyn Reynolds.

An insider at the soap quoted by the paper said: "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."

The paper says the other characters set to leave are financial adviser Richard Hillman, (Brian Capron), Eileen Grimshaw, (Sue Cleaver), and her sons Jason and Todd, (Ryan Thomas and Bruno Langley).


But a spokeswoman for Granada told BBC News Online: "This is all complete speculation and is not the case at all.

"They seem to be a fairly random list of names plucked out of the air."

Last week Granada announced that doctor Matt Ramsden, (actor Stephen Beckett), would be leaving with screen wife Charlie, (Clare McGlinn), as well as Bobbi Lewis (Naomi Russell).

The producers of the popular soap are keen to re-invigorate storylines because it has fallen behind rival EastEnders in the ratings.

See also:

01 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Emmerdale producer for Corrie
10 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Soaps battle in TV showdown
28 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Coronation Street's live birthday treat
07 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Coronation Street goes East
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