Bookmakers have slashed the odds on Coronation Street being cancelled by TV bosses after viewers have criticised recent dark storylines.
Soap fans have hit out at violent storylines involving villain Pat Phelan and his murderous rampage.
According to The ECHO some bookies say they’ve had a ‘flurry’ of bets on the long-running ITV soap being axed after the backlash surrounding episodes including child grooming, bloody murders and an upcoming male rape storyline.
Odds have been drastically slashed on Coronation Street being cancelled by ITV this year from 250/1 to 25/1 - meaning they’re predicting it will be 10 times more likely that the soap is taken off air in 2018.
Paddy Power also quote 5/1 that Corrie is moved to a post-watershed spot, as the show continues to explore gritty storylines.
Spokesman Paddy Power said: “Could it soon be a case of Coronati-off street? With the country’s favourite soap opera coming under pressure from watchdogs, it’s enduring as traumatic a storyline as one of its latest episodes.
“With this dark new direction, ITV might be tempted to move the show until after the watershed – or just can it altogether.”
Despite bookies rubbing their hands together, today Corrie spokespeople dismissed the rumours and told the ECHO they “wouldn’t ever” comment on speculation.
One of the soap’s biggest stars Lucy Fallon was involved in a harrowing plot which saw her fall victim to a child grooming ring, with her then-boyfriend Nathan Curtis pimping her out to his friends.
In more recent episodes, her character Bethany Platt becomes a lap dancer.
In a backstage interview following the National Television Awards 2018, she celebrated the ‘gritty’ storylines - and said she hopes to follow in the footsteps of Doctor Foster star Suranne Jones, whose career skyrocketed after playing feisty machinist Karen McDonald between 2000-2004
She said: “I like gritty storylines. I think they’re the best ones to do. You want stuff you can really sink your teeth into.”
Last year it was revealed a special double bill episode of the ITV soap received almost 400 OFCOM complaints after scenes which two of Pat Phelan’s hostages die when Andy Carver shot fellow captive Vinny Ashford before himself being murdered.
Phelan was then shown dumping two bodies in the lake.
Although a warning aired prior to transmission, the killings were broadcast before the 9pm watershed - sparking complaints about the levels of violence featured.
Viewers have also voiced their displeasure online.
Sharon Clark Tweeted: “If the producers want gritty TV, create a spin off programme and leave the original to its normal format.”
Michael Hawksworth said: “What is happening to this program? The acting is getting worse and the stupid story lines are not very good too.”
Commenting on Corrie losing out on an NTA award to ITV rival Emmerdale, Patrick Coffey said: “Emmerdale is deserving. It hasn’t lost its humanity completely.
“[Corrie] has lost its way, forgotten its history, its creator. Go back to your roots Corrie.”
Twitter user Anto11342 added: “Corrie, violence for the sake of violence! Cheap trick. And yes, young children can’t or shouldn’t be watching it.”
A spokesperson for Corrie said they “would never comment” on speculation surrounding the future of the show.