New Coronation Street boss Kate Oates has reportedly given 10 of the soap's stars new contracts, contradicting reports claiming she's planning a mass cull of the characters. The actors behind Todd Grimshaw, Sean Tully, Michelle Connor, Eva Price and Sophie Webster were recently confirmed to be sticking around – and now 10 others have joined them.
A source told The Sun: "There is so much going on at the moment that people were uncertain about the future but by doing these contracts it does calm things down. There is an incredible amount of work going on with the new set to expand it all, and with that brings new characters in, that there was a genuine feeling some people could face the exit door."
Here's who else is said to be staying, and what viewers can expect from them…
Kate Connor (Faye Brookes)
The sister of Aidan, played by Shayne Ward, Kate has already been involved in a lot of drama since her first appearance in October. While her soldier girlfriend Caz Hammond was away, Kate grew close to Sophie Webster. After dumping Caz, Kate will become scared by her persistent attempts to win her back – but how far is she prepared to go?
Johnny Connor (Richard Hawley)
Kate and Aidan's dad will start a relationship with Jenny Bradley, and it looks certain that they'll become a force to be reckoned with on the Street. But, while he attempts to work on his own life, Johnny will more than likely be pulled into his children's sticky situations, as Kate deals with Caz's obsession and Aidan makes the mistake of sleeping with Maria Connor.
Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson)
Leanne is struggling to deal with the fact she is expecting Steve McDonald's baby, all while trying to work things out with estranged husband Nick. As we all know, secrets don't stay that way for long in soapland, so how will Nick react when he realises the truth? As if that wasn't enough for poor Leanne, ex-husband Peter Barlow is on his way back to Weatherfield.
Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson)
Steve is in big trouble. His marriage to Michelle, played by Kym Marsh, is hanging on by a thread and their situation isn't improved when she suggests having a baby – after becoming broody thanks to Leanne's pregnancy! But things are about to get a whole lot worse, as Michelle is set to fall pregnant… meaning two women on the Street are potentially carrying
Jenny Bradley (Sally Ann Matthews)
Johnny may be joining forces with Jenny, but he’ll need to remember her track record. This is one woman who won't settle for any game playing; unless she's the one playing the games. Jenny will suggest going all Undercover Boss at Underworld, which we can't imagine will go down well with the staff there.
Sally Metcalfe (Sally Dynevor)
As local councillor, Sally finally has power over the residents and will continue her mission in the shady world of politics. However villain Pat Phelan, played by Connor McIntyre, has a plan – and he intends to use Sally and her position to his advantage when attempting a huge scam. But is he messing with the wrong woman?
Freddie Smith (Derek Griffiths)
He initially attempted to play Cupid for Ken Barlow and Audrey Roberts, but Freddie is about to discover he wants the salon owner to himself. This is good news for Audrey, who has been crushing on Freddie for a while now. And, as Freddie plans to make his move, it looks like Ken will be moved firmly into the friend zone.
Cathy Matthews (Melanie Hill)
It looks like Cathy's happiness over getting engaged to Roy Cropper could be short-lived. While she dreams of marrying the café owner, Roy is still mindful of the fact his wife Hayley only died two years ago. As he struggles with his guilt over moving on and his new chance at happiness, Cathy will still have her hands full with nephew Alex.
Gemma Winter (Dolly-Rose Campbell)
She's determined to turn over a new leaf and leave all the drama behind her, and Gemma has help in the form of newsagent Rita Sullivan, played by Barbara Knox. Despite Gemma's best intentions, viewers haven't seen the last of Kylie Platt's killer Clayton… and he's got an issue with Gemma.
Rana Habeeb (Bhavna Limbachia)
Rana and boyfriend Zeedan Nazir, played by Quasim Akhtar, have had their fair share of problems, but it looks like she'll finally start to come to terms with his religious beliefs about sex before marriage. Although, as viewers know, Rana has a flirty side, and there's a lot of men in Weatherfield just waiting for her to slip up with them.