Sunderland author and Coronation Street expert Glenda defends climate change storyline
An author and Coronation Street expert has praised the show’s environmental storyline, and says it can only help with the climate crisis.
Glenda Young from Ryhope is a novelist with a string of successful titles to her credit. She has also written TV tie-in books for the show, founded the Coronation Street Blog in 2007 and heads a 16-strong team exploring every aspect of the world-famous soap.
In the run-up to the COP 26 climate change conference in Glasgow, the Street along with Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Casualty, all referenced each other in environmental storylines.
The unprecedented idea was to spark serious conversations across the nation, but in a fun way.
After months of planning between the soaps, the scriptwriters on each show took on the task of featuring the other’s storylines.
The Daily Mail claimed “viewers were left bemused by the woke references”, but Glenda says the storyline is one “whose time had come” and that acknowledging a worldwide issue helped make Coronation Street more realistic.
She said: “It’s an interesting experiment in terms of the narrative, launched to coincide with the recent COP 26 summit.
“In some ways soaps tend to exist in a bubble and rarely deal with socially important issues. But I think climate concerns have become such a big thing that in a way, this storyline’s time had come.
“The Coronation Street storyline started with Gary and Maria Windass being enthralled by an Emmerdale video on a mobile phone, which was a bit surreal.
“But it felt like a significant moment in the history of soaps and I’m glad it was about a non- political issue and one that seems to be concerning everyone across the generations.
“By virtue of the time when soaps are aired, before the watershed, the most serious issues in society rarely get a look-in before 9pm.
“But I think the great thing about soaps is that they are able to deal with socially important issues in a subtle, but important way that raises awareness.
“The storyline involves Maria, who is one of the more comic characters in the Street, so that you know that while the scriptwriters will deal with the storyline sympathetically, there’ll be plenty of laughs along the way.”