Coronation Street chief Kate Oates quits amid complaints over controversial storylines and viewer complaints

In January, we told how the show’s cast and crew were furious over a lack of awards and the dark direction it had gone in.

Some had labelled her a “dead woman walking” and long-serving stars were said to be unhappy about newer cast members being handed gritty storylines.

Kate, 38, confirmed to The Sun she had resigned after two years at the show’s helm, just four months after ITV tried to deny the initial story.

During her tenure, big-name stars Catherine Tyldesley, Shayne Ward and Debbie Rush have all quit.

Storylines featuring villain Pat Phelan, played by Connor McIntyre, 57, have also upset loyal fans, including Sir Michael Parkinson, 83.

A source said: “It was always a matter of when, not if, with Kate going, and now it’s been confirmed she’s leaving.

“There’s a feeling of jumping before she was pushed. But she is staying within the ITV family.

“The storylines she worked on, while rating successes, were very divisive among viewers and the cast and crew. Everyone is looking forward to seeing what the future on the soap looks like now.”

Kate is now moving to work on ITV cop series Bancroft, starring Sarah Parish, 49.

She said: “I’ll be forever grateful for this opportunity and all it has given me, but I’m also excited to try something new.”

She will be replaced by current Emmerdale show chief Iain MacLeod, who has led the show to a number of awards including a TV BAFTA and back-to-back National Television Award wins.

Iain will start his new role on Corrie, now Britain’s most popular soap, in June.

John Whiston, ITV Studios’ Creative Director, praised Kate’s “brilliant editorial touch” in dealing with the Bethany Platt grooming storyline, and David Platt’s rape.

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