Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod has shared some juicy details about the ITV soap's upcoming festive episodes.
It has been reported that Robert Preston (Tristan Gemmill), whose exit has been confirmed, will be shot and killed on Christmas Day.
And while Iain stayed quiet on who the victim would be, he did say that the story "felt right" and "felt motivated and exciting, rather than gratuitous and unhelpful".
Speaking at a press day with Daily Star Online and other outlets, Iain explained a gun finds its way onto Coronation Street before a deadly showdown around Christmas time – and it involves Gary Windass (Mikey North).
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He explained: "It's an antique firearm. I am aware the presence of firearms on Coronation Street full stop is very controversial, so it wasn't as if we took it lightly.
"We just felt there was an interesting side avenue into what Gary was doing that hasn't been explored yet, and it felt like doing something exploring something involving a firearm would be a realistic pay off in the story we're telling of loan sharking, and the pressures of poverty and the mental collapse that can cause people.
"So it felt motivated, also it felt very exciting."
He went on: "While there's bags of comedy and warmth and family nonsense, there's also that high octane stuff that is very edge of the seat."
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Iain said: "There is a view that Coronation Street should embrace guns at its peril – ultimately, famously, Ernie Bishop was killed with a shotgun many years ago, so it's not like this is the first time we've done anything to this scale.
"Equally, Coronation Street, and indeed Britain generally, has a responsibility to be cautious about how it portrays violence and not to be seen to be sensationalising it, I guess.
"You always sit down when anyone produces a weapon or threatens any kind of deadly force and have a think about what we really want to do.
"But ultimately, this story, as it was pitched, felt so exciting and right – that evolution of Gary's journey. It felt motivated and exciting, rather than gratuitous and unhelpful."
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Speaking of the Christmas Death, Iain said: "On other soaps it's relatively common place. It's not so much on Coronation Street, but again, anything related to that is a tough decision and indeed, killing anyone, whether it's at Christmas or not, is a tough decision.
"I'm very conscious of the fact these aren't just characters. There's actors and a human being that plays them, so before we sort of drop the guillotine on them, you do think long and hard about it because it has real world consequences for people.
"But, ultimately, I think actors understand you want to tell the best story possible, and I think whatever the outcomes are of the Christmas episode are the right outcomes.
"Obviously we thought long and hard about it, but I think the stories justify the decisions there."
Coronation Street continues tonight (Wednesday) at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV
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