‘People are getting a bit gobsmacked’: Ex Corrie star Charlie Lawson claims ITV soap could be AXED in ten years as fans are ‘fed up’ with ‘woke’ storylines
The actor, 63, who played Jim McDonald between 1989 and 2000, said he believes viewing figures have dropped as fans are ‘fed up’ with its ‘woke‘ storylines.
He told the Daily Star: ‘I was there in the 90s for 11 years and we were getting between 16 and 20 million – and 5 million (viewers now) is not a lot.
‘People are getting a bit gobsmacked’: Ex Corrrie star Charlie Lawson has claimed the ITV soap could be AXED in ten years as fans are ‘fed up’ with ‘woke’ storylines (pictured in 2019)
‘In 10 years who knows if we will have a Coronation Street, we’re all changing our viewing habits as it is already,’ Charlie added of competition from streaming services.
When asked about a recent storyline in which Max Turner (played by Paddy Bever) is groomed by far-right extremists, he said: ‘People are getting a little bit gobsmacked and fed up with all this. Jim wasn’t exactly politically correct, nevermind woke!’
Earlier this year, Charlie found himself at the heart of a fervent discussion, which raised the topic of soaps becoming a ‘box-ticking’ exercise.
Talented: The actor, 63, played Jim McDonald between 1989 and 2000 (pictured in-character with Beverley Callard in 1998)
He made an appearance on GB News alongside former fellow Weatherfield resident Sherrie Hewson and Brookside’s Tina Malone.
And Charlie did not mince his words when journalist and broadcaster Dan Wootton prompted the conversation on ‘wokeness’,
He admitted that he ‘despairs’ over the constant stream of ‘new things that you can’t do and you can do.’
Opinions: Earlier this year, Charlie found himself at the heart of a fervent discussion, which raised the topic of soaps becoming a ‘box-ticking’ exercise
He said: ‘We’re great at being a silent majority in this b****y country over a great deal of things and I try not to be, to my detriment.’
‘There’s always new things that you can’t do and you can do and I despair and that goes across society in my humble opinion.’
The Northern Irishman claimed that ‘box-ticking’ is causing viewers to ‘switch off’ and firmly believes there are people remaining tight-lipped about what they want to watch.
‘I hope to God that Corrie and EastEnders or whatever, Emmerdale Farm are around in 10 years but I think people start to switch off because boxes are being ticked with such heavy black ink and I mean that across the whole television industry.
‘There is a silent majority out there who just want to say, excuse my French, they want to say, “B******s to that, I want to watch what I want to watch,”‘ he raged.
Charlie’s Coronation Street character became temporarily wheelchair bound in 1998 following an altercation with son Steve, which resulted in him plummeting from scaffolding.
Speaking out: The Northern Irishman claimed that ‘box-ticking’ is causing viewers to ‘switch off’ and firmly believes there are people remaining tight-lipped about what they want to watch
Of representing a disabled person – and how he deems it to differ from today – Charlie said: ‘I mean, the sheer thought that somebody even back in the day would say, “Oh my God we can’t have a b****y actress in a wheelchair”, because, you know, it’s just crazy.
‘I was lucky enough to play Jim McDonald and I had eight months in a wheelchair and they’re the best scenes you’ve seen in your b****y life.’
He continued: ‘Or when I had scenes with Elizabeth Bradley, they were well-written and I don’t think anybody gave a flying fiddlers about the fact that the two actors were able to run about and do whatever they want.’’
Charlie concluded: ‘It would be difficult for the character I played for a long time on Coronation Street to respond to someone who identified as a plant pot or whoever they wanted to identify with.’
Tina, 59, meanwhile voiced that soaps should ‘reflect reality’ and that doesn’t automatically mean they are ‘woke.’
Charlie first hit the cobbles in 1989 and was a regular for 11 years. He made brief comebacks between 2003 and 2018.
Debut: Charlie first hit the cobbles in 1989 (pictured) and was a regular for 11 years. He made brief comebacks between 2003 and 2018