Age UK teams up with Coronation Street to highlight Christmas loneliness

Age UK launches latest phase of ‘No one should have no one to turn to’ campaign with a partnership with ITV’s longest running TV show, Coronation Street  

Age UK joins forces with Coronation Street to raise awareness of loneliness around the festive season

Age UK, in partnership with Manning Gottlieb OMD, has today launched the latest instalment of their multi-faceted No one should have no one to turn to campaign. The ITV partnership will launch on Wednesday 18th and run across further episodes on 20th and 23rd December.

The soap’s beloved character, Rita Sullivan, will experience and demonstrate the full effects of loneliness when she begins to feel more of a burden to everyone around her with their busy lives but is too proud to ask for help. She falls and hurts herself but is not found for hours and is in peril.

Age UK were research partners and worked with Coronation Street to reflect the reality for many older people, whom Age UK works tirelessly to help. The TVC’s will play first in break after each episode, starting from the 20.30 episode on Wednesday and will seamlessly flow across digital including social, where the story of those people featured will be told in more detail.

The adverts feature a series of older people who will each reflect how Rita’s fictional storyline happened to them in real life, ending with the resolution of how Age UK helped them recover and get their life back on track.

The partnership follows a survey conducted by YouGov for Age UK that found that over 2. 5 million older people feel they have no one to turn to for help and support. A situation which makes the challenges of later life, such as coping with bereavement, feeling lonely, getting the right social care and managing health problems like dementia, so much harder to bear. Using TV to raise awareness of this stark reality, Manning Gottlieb OMD have identified ITV’s Coronation Street as a perfect platform to reach their target audience.

First launched last year, “No one should have no one to turn to” aims to encourage the public to join in and make a difference and donate to Age UK in order to fund services such as the charity’s telephone advice line, which is open every day of the year, including Christmas Day. This partnership follows Age UK’s hero TVC ‘We Are Here’ produced by Brave and directed by Dipesh Mistry and Drew Haselhurst.

Throughout the campaign, the Charity is urging people to donate to help ensure that its essential services, such as the Age UK Advice Line, can continue to be there for everyone who needs them.

Age UK’s Advice Line is a free, confidential phone service for older people, their families, friends, and carers, open every day of the year (8am–7pm). It is staffed by a team of expert advisers who give hundreds of hours of advice and support every week on issues such as mobility problems, staying independent at home, managing health issues and forms of cognitive decline, and dealing with money worries.

Kathi Hall, Head of Content Strategy and Brand at Age UK, said: “This is a really exciting collaboration and a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of loneliness and isolation at Christmas time. We hope that Rita’s story, and the stories of Terrence, Gwen and Colin, will get people talking about this important issue and inspire action. We all have a role to play in helping to ensure that no older person feels they are facing the struggles of later life alone.

 Hannah Gardener, Client Account Manager at Manning Gottlieb OMD adds: “ITV are offering us unique, emotive and powerful ways to tell audiences across the nation about the vital work Age UK do through their advice line. Rita’s story is so powerful because so many people are living through it every day. By delivering bespoke AV executions, we have the opportunity to explain more about the complexity of issues they have to deal with every day and really engage audiences with our message at this vital time of year.”

 John Whiston, MD Continuing Drama, ITV said:  “Coronation Street never shies away from issues, especially when highlighting them can change things. With the help of Age UK we’ve constructed a story which puts loneliness front and centre of the show, but does so in a way which hopefully helps people understand how loneliness can creep up on any of us. But also shows how simple actions by all of us can help.”

Anyone who needs support or is worried about an older relative or friend can get in touch by calling Age UK Advice free of charge on 0800 169 6565, visiting or contacting their local Age UK to see what support is available locally.


MG OMD FWD brings together the latest digital and tech headlines, insights, cool stuff and deep reads into one place so you always stay ahead of the curve.

Next project