Coronation Street fans share surprising theory over Institute boss Willow

Coronation Street spoilers follow.

Coronation Street fans think they've worked out the truth behind Institute boss Willow.

Recently, Leanne Battersby has been drawn into a cult by Rowan Cunliffe, and has been ignoring her friends and family, walking out during work shifts, and spending lots of money on their various 'wellness' products.

In the last few episodes, Leanne was introduced to Willow, the CEO of the Institute who told her that she would soon be able to become a recruiter.

leanne battersby, rowan, coronation street

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It's obvious something dodgy is up and Leanne is being brainwashed, and viewers are convinced that it's so dodgy that Willow isn't even real.

Multiple Corrie fans took to Twitter/X to speculate that Willow is an AI-generated bot, rather than a human being. If true, it poses the question if it's just Rowan behind Willow, or someone else.

"Is that Willow person also an AI?!" one viewer wrote, while another suggested: "Oh Leanne, Willow is clearly AI generated. You are now recruiting for Rowan's cult."

"Did anyone else think that 'Willow' looked computer generated?" a third questioned, while a fourth said: "Willow is a bot and this is so #corrie."

leanne battersby, rowan, coronation street

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Corrie has been dealing with artificial intelligence and digital fakery quite a lot lately. Leanne herself has been 'talking' to an AI recreation of her late son Oliver, based on information about him Leanne gave to Rowan, and designed to act like he would if he had got the chance to grow up in the four years since his death.

Meanwhile, both Maria Connor and more recently Abi Webster have been the victim of deepfake videos, where their faces have been digitally grafted onto someone else's body in compromising positions.

Elsewhere, Corrie actor Sue Cleaver has stated that she feels "physically sick" at the fact that there are AI-generated ads in the real world using her likeness to scam people.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

Read more Coronation Street spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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