Jason Grimshaw is to turn detective next week after becoming convinced that Karl Munro (John Michie) is the arsonist who set the Rovers Return ablaze.
After Karl loses his temper with Jason and confesses that it was he who torched his van earlier this year, the builder’s concerns are reignited.
“He accused Karl of torching the van the first time but he couldn’t prove it. Now, Karl’s admitted to setting fire to the van so he’s taken it to another level,” says Ryan Thomas.
“Jason becomes much more suspicious of him, which is why he’s so persistent in trying to prove to people that it was Karl that set fire to the pub. He’s trying to work Karl out and the more he’s in Karl’s vicinity, the more he starts to discover.”
After the frank admission, Jason takes Dev into his confidence and pretty soon the pair are paying closer attention to Karl’s strange behaviour. In particular, the revelation that Karl has been giving money to Craig Tinker, who viewers know is the only person able to place the firestarter at the scene of the crime.
“It’s another part of the puzzle coming together, really,” says the actor. “It’s confirmation that his suspicions about Karl are true and it’s more evidence that Karl is capable of doing anything.”
So with all these suspicions, why doesn’t Jason just tell Stella, who is set to marry Karl in a matter of weeks? “Her family think he’s doing all this to get back at Karl because he’s jealous and wants Stella back. It’s very difficult to get your point across when you’ve been out with someone and she’s rejected you. They’re bound to think your actions are for a totally different reason.”
But is he determined to stop the wedding? “It’s not so much that he wants to stop the wedding but he’s scared of what might happen to Stella. It’s not because he loves her any more, but he’s concerned about her safety and that’s why he’s trying to stop the whole thing.”
Of course, Jason did have Stella snatched away from him thanks to the manipulations of Karl, who schemed his way back into her affections. So would Thomas like to see Jason reunite with his ex or does his character have his eye on someone else?
“He’s got feelings for Stella and respect for her, but he doesn’t want to get back with her. At the moment, he’s trying to prove his own innocence and help people like Dev and Stella. For once, he’s not really for his eye on other women. That, said someone could catch his eye in the near future!”
And what of the future for the Grimshaws, specifically the return of Jason’s brother Todd, who is set to arrive back this autumn. So is the actor looking forward to Bruno Langley’s return?
“I’m so excited that Bruno is coming back. It’s great that the Grimshaw family are finally back together again.”