Coronation Street spoilers: Ryan Thomas – twisted Karl won’t make life easy for Jason and Stella

"If Jason knew just how bitter Karl is becoming, maybe he would be a bit more worried," reveals the actor

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When creepy Karl Munro (John Michie) steals and torches Jason’s van this week, the antagonism between the two men escalates. With Jason soon ensconced at the Rovers with Stella (Michelle Collins) and Karl left on the outside moodily staring in, a game of cat-and-mouse ensues next week. Pranks are played as Jason damages his rival’s car and Karl bodges the electrics at the pub. But when Jason gives up the building trade to work with Stella behind the bar, it looks like he’s the winning man. Yet when Karl acquires a set of keys to the Rovers, it suddenly seems like the fight is far from over. Actor Ryan Thomas, who plays Jason, reveals what to expect:

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Can you tell us how Jason reacts when he finds out that Karl has tried to kidnap Stella?
He’s been in a sulk since Stella stood him up, so when he finds out what really went on with Karl he’s blazing and he punches him. He’s had enough of him pushing his luck and trying it on with Stella, so this is the final straw. 

With Karl turning into quite a bitter and twisted man, how worried is Jason that he’ll become his target?
He’s not intimidated by Karl at all. Jason sees him as a bit pathetic and reckons he’s got it coming. But if he knew just how bitter and twisted Karl is becoming, maybe he would be a bit more worried!

And then we see Jason’s van being stolen and torched by Karl. What’s Jason’s reaction to the loss of his vehicle and when does he realise who’s responsible?
He’s gutted. He’s landed a really lucrative council contract, then this happens just when things were looking up. It’s not till the police come asking questions, saying a man fitting his description was seeing running away from the burning van, that Jason puts two and two together and realises that it’s a set-up and that Karl is behind it all.

Karl’s really smug and he makes it pretty clear that he’s responsible. Jason only just manages to stop himself having a go, but he checks himself in because he made Stella a promise. But he does then take the opportunity to break the news to Karl that he’s moving into the Rovers. So now it’s Jason’s turn to be smug.

Jason giving up the building trade and running the pub with Stella wasn’t exactly the result that Karl was aiming for. So how does Karl react to this news?
It’s certainly not the result Karl was hoping for and Jason’s determined to stick the knife in. He has a little word with Karl to make sure he’s aware that he knows he torched his van and because of that he and Stella are more solid than ever. But the audience will see that in Karl’s mind this is far from over! 

Does Jason get any revenge on Karl?
The council won’t wait for Jason and he loses the council contract because he hasn’t got a van. Jason’s gutted and Karl’s still hanging round needling him. So when he sees Karl park his car and head off he can’t himself and gives the wing mirror a good kick on the way past. He knows it’s not the best idea and that Stella won’t approve, but at that moment it feels good and Jason feels pretty pleased with himself.

And then we see Karl damaging the electrics in the pub on purpose as a retaliatory strike…
Jason leaves Tim to fix the electrics in the pub, so when he walks in and the finds the lights off he doesn’t understand what’s happened. Stella’s not happy that he left Tim to sort the job, Jason’s in the dog house with Stella and Karl’s loving every minute of it.

But Jason’s determined not to let Karl come between them and when he moves into the Rovers, Jason sees this as a sign that their relationship is becoming more serious. He wants Karl out of the way, so they can get on with their life.

What are Jason’s feelings for Stella? Is it just a bit of fun or is he falling for her?
It started out as a bit of fun, but I think he is really falling for her as they’ve made a real connection. So Jason really wants the relationship to work but with Karl hanging around it’s never going to be easy.

How did you feel when you found out Jason would be having a fling with Stella?
I wasn’t really surprised. Jason’s always had a thing for the ladies, and he had a fling with the older Mrs Fanshawe [played by Alison King] a few years ago!

What’s it like filming scenes with Michelle Collins?
Horrendous! No, only joking, it’s great. We’re really enjoying the storyline, things couldn’t be any better at the moment. I think Stella and Jason make a good couple – when they got together they’d both just come out of relationships where they hadn’t been treated very well and they gave the other what they needed. There’s definitely chemistry there – they have fun together and they both want to make it work. 

Would you consider dating an older woman in real life? Any cougar crushes?
Cindy Beale from EastEnders!

Has your daughter Scarlett ever watched Corrie? If so, how does she react when she sees you on telly?
She doesn’t really watch it. She’s a bit too young, but she is aware that I’m on telly. She’ll point at the screen and say Brooke [Vincent] and Jack [P Shepherd] when she sees them. One of her friends at nursery said hello to me the other day and she did say, “Daddy, who do you play?”

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Is Scarlett showing any signs of following in your acting footsteps?
Who knows? She can be shy – she’s definitely not as loud as me yet, but then she has her moments!