Coronation Street viewers already know the identity of a brand new "super villain" who will wreak havoc next year.
The popular character will be responsible for knocking down the factory and killing a much-loved resident in explosive scenes hitting screens in March.
But rather than bringing a bad new baddie in, Corrie bosses have revealed that an established character will be "corrupted".
They will transform into a "complicated villainous presence on the cobbles" as they descend into evil.
This will be no flash in the pan as the writers are laying the foundations for the villain to torture their neighbours for years.
A new ‘super villain’ will be behind explosive scenes at the factory
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New boss Iain McLeod revealed: "Corrie can have baddies who come in, burn bright and then are gone, but also a more long-range type, like Mike Baldwin, who is ruthless and self-serving and rides roughshod over everybody.
"We’re designing a character who is more of that latter type, who can stay in the show forever as an antagonist just messing up everyone’s lives. We’re going with this character on this journey, you go in seeing their intentions were good but things rapidly snowball.
"By the end of 2019 there will be a new, complicated villainous presence on the cobbles."
Underworld will be reduced to rubble once again
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
The new villain will be very different to evil Pat Phelan and Richard Hillman, who very quickly wracked up the body count.
They will gradually descend into wrongdoing after causing the factory roof to collapse on one unfortunate resident.
Iain said: "No one flicks a switch in this character’s head that makes them bad. It happens organically through desperation and through corruption of their original intentions. It’s about small choices that can force you into a role that you never saw for yourself.
"The commissioning editor, Hugh, said ‘it’s like the Godfather’. I would never presume to ever compare what we do with one of the greatest films of all time but in terms of the genesis of those characters, it has some similarities."
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The new villain will be very different to Phelan
Despite some major differences, the new villain does appear to have links to nasty Pat.
The dodgy builder went on a killing spree, then seemingly rose from the dead, before being stabbed by nemesis Anna Windass.
The soap’s long-serving writers decided to link the factory collapse to an old plot involving Phelan.
Iain explained: "As soon as they pitched it I loved it – it cleverly builds on a story involving Phelan, when he worked on the factory roof. So it has its origins in stuff that we’ve seen already and has a really satisfying feel to it."
Carla will become public enemy number one
One character will be caught horribly in the fallout and bosses say there won’t be a dry eye in the house as the identity of the victim emerges.
The residents realise the tragedy is actually the deliberate work of one twisted individual and quickly point the finger at factory boss Carla Connor.
The businesswoman finds herself being blamed by many locals who treat her as a “massive pariah”.
The enormity of the situation gets to her and affects her mental health, leading her to become delusional, paranoid and close to a breakdown.
Iain added: “We’ll do a standalone episode which will focus on Carla’s mental health, which reveals to the audience who is behind the collapse of the factory roof.”
*The explosive Coronation Street scenes will air in March next year
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