Esther Rose wrote 3 episodes of Coronation Street between February and May 1966. Prior to that, she was a reporter on the Daily Express and her husband, Harry Whewell, was news editor of The Guardian. Her first role at Granada Television was the editor of the topical programme The Headliners.
She was the Story Associate on Coronation Street from Episode 796 (5th August 1968) to Episode 2437 (8th August 1984) (except for 168 episodes in small gaps for vacations and suchlike) which meant that she was actively involved in the forward planning of episodes - quite often meant to be a surprise to viewers - that would take place months ahead of transmission.
In his 1990 autobiography entitled Coronation Street: The Inside Story, Bill Podmore, the programme's longest-serving producer, revealed that Rose was the inside "mole", long suspected by Granada as being at the very centre of the programme's production team, who had assiduously leaked storylines and personal information about the cast as well as behind-the-scenes problems to her old colleagues in the Fleet Street press for profit. Podmore states that some of the leaks over the years had made him, "very angry" and, despite suspecting Rose for a time, he was unable to entrap her successfully and her subsequent revealing was "a bitter blow". She eventually made a mistake which led to her being confirmed as the "mole" but it occurred just two days before she was due to officially retire in 1984; Podmore went on to state that, "Had we caught her earlier, it would have given me great satisfaction to have given her the boot." Rose's mistake was to be accidentally overheard by Mervyn Watson (the programme's producer and then reporting to Podmore who was now executive producer) giving strictly personal information and the home address of Elizabeth Dawn - then going through some private issues - at "dictation speed" to one of her newspaper contacts. Rose was confronted by the two men the next day and told that if her retirement hadn't been just twenty-four hours away, she would certainly have been fired.
Rose continued to cause problems by giving the press a story (reportedly for £7,000) that appeared on Sunday 14th April 1985 that secret meetings were taking place - both at production level and Granada board level - to plan out the end of the programme to coincide with its twenty-fifth anniversary in December 1985. Podmore ridiculed the story, pointing out that every three months the production team met to conduct high-level planning of storylines and, by coincidence, the Granada board were meeting the same day. Rose appeared on Good Morning Britain on Thursday 18th April to defend her story. Fellow guest and Street-fan Melvyn Bragg appeared on the same edition and on air forced Rose to accept a bet for £1,000 that the programme would still be running a year hence. It is not known if in April 1986 Rose paid Bragg his winnings.
Episodes written by Esther Rose
1966 (3 episodes)