'Coronation Street' have hired a hat-trick of new writers to freshen up the soap.

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Julie Hesmondhalgh

The ITV show has been criticised by several famous names this year who hit out at some of the dark plots - including serial killer Pat Phelan (Connor McIntyre) running riot, and David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd) being raped by Josh Tucker (Ryan Clayton) - but new scribe Alasdair Morrison, who penned funny scripts for 'Hollyoaks', is among those to join the programme.

According to the Daily Star newspaper, Samantha Holdsworth has swapped the Yorkshire Dales of 'Emmerdale' for the 'Corrie' cobbles in an attempt to bring some "Dingle-style antics" to Weatherfield.

Former street favourite Julie Hesmondhalgh's husband Ian Kershaw - who has played five minor roles on the soap over the years - has also joined the script writing staff.

Julie - whose character Hayley Cropper was killed off in 2014 - recently said: "I still watch 'Coronation Street' and my husband Ian Kershaw recently joined the writing team, so I have an infiltrator to make sure that Roy is alright."

Ian appeared as solicitor Howard Curtis and Weatherfield Gazette reporters Malcolm Bradford and Duncan Stott in the show in the 90s.

And in the early 00s he played yet more journalists, Mick Crompton in 2001, and Ian Thompson in the same year, and again in 2002.

Paul O'Grady and Sir Michael Parkinson are among the big names to have criticised 'Corrie' this year.

'Love of Dogs' presenter Paul compared the Manchester soap to warn-torn Syria, and fellow TV presenter Michael blasted the show for its violent and "gruesome" storylines.

He said: "I never imagined I would recoil from watching 'Coronation Street', but the storyline of the kidnapping and torture of Andy and Vinny and their brutal murder by Pat Phelan had little to do with that gentle, funny reminder of life in the North Country I discovered and so admired in the early 1960s when I joined Granada Television."