Jane Macnaught, who produced Coronation Street and Stars in their Eyes, has died suddenly at her home in Cheshire.
During her long ITV career, she would be charged with leading some of the channel’s most high profile programmes.
While producing Coronation Street, the show was regularly pulling in more than 18m viewers, with one programme in 1999 becoming the year’s most watched show with 19.82m.
Macnaught would also introduce some headline-grabbing plot twists, such as the return of Raquel Watts (Sarah Lancashire), Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) and Reg Holdwsworth (Ken Morley). As well as the arrival of Dev, Sunita and Fiz.
Promoted in 2000 she’d exec produce a further 229 episodes of the soap, before taking on responsibility for ITV’s drama department in Manchester.
However, the final years at Coronation Street were seen as difficult. Its 40th anniversary, live episode didn’t have the impact the channel was expecting and there was reported friction between Macnaught and the cast with the introduction of a new pay regime.
Other ITV credits include producing the BAFTA British Academy Awards, You’ve Been Framed, The Comedians, The Krypton Factor and Blue Murder.
In a statement, ITV said: “Colleagues at ITV are extremely saddened to hear of the death of former executive producer, Jane MacNaught.
“Jane started her career at Granada Television in 1977, initially as a production assistant, before moving in to the entertainment department where she produced Stars in Their Eyes, University Challenge and the first ever series of You’ve Been Framed.
“Jane became producer and later executive producer of Coronation Street. From 1999 to 2002 Jane produced more than 500 episodes and oversaw the show’s 40th anniversary, including the hugely successful live episode in 2000. Following her time in Coronation Street Jane moved in to drama and was the first producer of Blue Murder. She left ITV in 2003.”
Executive producer Kieran Roberts, who worked with Jane in the late 80s and 90s before following her to Coronation Street, added: “Jane was a hugely successful producer, a Granada stalwart and someone who touched many people’s lives and careers in her time with ITV. She will be remembered fondly by us all.”
Picture credit: Corrie Net