Corrie's new boss plans to AXE their younger stars — and give their older cast more storylines in major overhaul

The overhaul will also include bringing much-needed humour back to the cobbles to appease the ITV soap’s loyal following.

It comes after many were shocked by the dark direction it has taken.

Macleod, replacing the ousted Kate Oates, intends to reward long-serving favourites such as Ken Barlow veteran Bill Roache, 85, with more action to keep them happy.

And many of the show’s younger cast, close allies of the departing Oates, are set to be shown the door.

A source said: “Kate was particularly popular with the younger stars.

“Her departure has left people worried the new producer will want to end the violent stuff and start again. And lots are worried about a cull.”

Those said to be safe also include Sue Nicholls, 74, who plays Audrey Roberts, Michael Le Vell, 53 (Kevin Webster), Sally Dynevor, 54 (Sally Webster), Simon Gregson, 43 (Steve McDonald), and Kym Marsh, 41 (Michelle Connor).

But younger ones are “fearing for their roles”, such as Katie McGlynn, 24 (Sinead Tinker), Colson Smith, 19 (Craig Tinker), Harry Visinoni, 18 (Seb Franklyn) and Julia Goulding, 32 (Shona Ramsey).

We reported today Oates had quit after two years amid growing pressure over controversial storylines and viewers’ complaints.

Plots featuring villain Pat Phelan have upset loyal fans, including Sir Michael Parkinson, 83.

Macleod, who led Emmerdale to a National Television Award and a Bafta last year, will start in June.

Another Corrie source said: “Iain intends to bring back a bit of Corrie’s light-hearted past while still delivering big stories.

“There’s been a feeling that some of the younger cast members just sleep-walk through their lines and act on social media that they are huge stars.

“I think they might have a rude awakening in store.”

An ITV spokeswoman said last night any talk about the stars’ futures was “speculation”.

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