Coronation Street's Kate Oates has teased a "really intense" festive season for the soap.

Peter Barlow

Peter Barlow

The show's executive producer can't wait for the Christmas episodes to hit television screens next month because she's set up an "extravaganza" for Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne), hinted that the "ghosts" of vicar Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) will come back to haunt him and is convinced Carla Connor's (Alison King) shock return will send shockwaves through the street.

Kate told The Sun Online: "We've got a bit of a Peter Barlow extravaganza - that will be exciting. We've got a certain Connor returning and I believe you can guess who I'm talking about. It's going to be a really intense Christmas where the ghosts of Billy's past come back to haunt him and some nice intense stuff for the Barlows so yeah it's going to be exciting."

Alison left the soap over 18 months ago but speculation about her return has been rife since Kate took over the reins early last year - and she confirmed the news a few months ago.

Kate explained: "Ever since I got here, it's been rumoured that Carla's coming back. But it was never true. Even the latest indications of it. Ali has only just signed her contract and she'll be back around Christmas. It's time to break new ground with Carla. I didn't want to put her on that familiar cycle of self-destruction, recovery, followed by more self-destruction ... What we'll have instead are these two strong Connor women - Carla and Michelle - on opposing sides and in conflict for a change. It'll be a refreshing dynamic for us to see."

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