Coronation Street spoilers: Karl and Stella's wedding day drama - John Michie interview

"The need to get the ring on Stella’s finger outweighs that desire to flee. Once he’s married her, then he can leave the Street with her in tow"

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Coronation Street spoilers: Karl and Stella's wedding day drama - John Michie interview
Written By
David Brown

Next week sees Karl and Stella’s wedding day arrive, but will they actually end up tying the knot? Over the course of seven episodes, viewers will see Killer Karl become a ticking time bomb as events begin to conspire against him.

First we have Karl being visited by the police after young Craig Tinker does a runner. But when Craig resurfaces, it looks like he’s ready to hand himself into the police. Could this mean that Karl must go to desperate lengths to keep him quiet?

Then there’s the added pressure of Jason accusing Karl outright of starting the Rovers fire, plus Dev racing to the register office to stop the wedding ceremony. So is Karl’s world about to blown apart? Actor John Michie, who is set to depart the Street after two years playing  Karl, reveals what’s in store:

So how is Karl feeling ahead of his wedding?
Karl’s doing a lot of ducking and diving. He’s feeling extremely hopeful that everything’s going to run to plan and be successful, but at the same time he’s also very nervous about Craig keeping his mouth shut. Craig is always on his mind at the minute and he can’t shake it off.

Is he starting to believe that it’s only a matter of time before he’s caught out?
Karl’s got it into his mind that as long as he can get Stella out of Weatherfield and out of the UK, then he will be OK. He knows that he has a very limited amount of time for this plan to go ahead and work.

Has Karl considered that there might be other things he has to do to silence Craig - maybe even murder?
At this point in Karl’s life he has his trophy, his prize - being with Stella is the only thing he really cares about. Achieving the happiness that he thinks he can obtain with her is all-important - and I think he would go to extreme lengths to have it. I don’t think he’d be able to do something premeditated and calculated as such, but in the heat of the moment I think Karl has the potential to ‘dispose’ of Craig if circumstances left him with little other choice.

So how does Karl feel when Craig goes missing and leaves a note apologising to Dev?
Karl is getting incredibly nervous. Whenever he sees Craig and Dev together it really panics him and he’s desperate to know what’s going on between them. The letter makes him seriously jumpy as there’s now some form of written evidence for other people to read into.

Jason has started making hints to Karl that he suspects something’s not quite right between Karl and Craig. What effect does this have?
Karl doesn’t find Jason as unnerving as Dev and Craig. There are huge pangs of guilt where Dev’s concerned for taking away Sunita, who was the mother of his children.

But Karl just hates Jason with a passion, and Jason despises Karl too, so I think Karl just feels more wound up by Jason’s presence than threatened by it. Jason knows exactly how to wind Karl up, especially where Stella is concerned. Karl’s insanely jealous of Jason because he’s young, good looking and had an affair with Stella. I think Karl will always feel that way for as long as he lives.

Is Stella detecting something’s not quite right and that Karl’s up to something?
Well she does actually say a few things to him about him acting strangely, but Karl just denies it. I don’t think he’s worried about Stella in that way. On the whole, she’s being lovely to him so he’s really not concerned.

But how does he feel when Jason accuses him of starting the fire in front of everyone in the Rovers?
Nervous, but at the same time he believes people will just think Jason’s being an idiot and is out to get Karl. It does wind Karl up, but he’s very good at covering.

Would he flee if it became clear that the truth was going to come out before he managed to get Stella up the aisle?
Karl’s become quite dangerous and he’s a massive gambler. I think he would gamble that the odds are not good, but the need to get the ring on Stella’s finger outweighs that desire to flee. Once he’s married her, then he can leave the Street with her in tow. 

Does he have a plan for whisking Stella off after the wedding?
He borrows a bit of money off his friend and books two cheap flights to Spain. Stella might think that he’s got them a nice hotel but he hasn’t. Karl’s only concern is getting them the hell out of Weatherfield. He’s probably got some friends or dodgy ties out there that he’s hoping to rely on.

So what’s Karl’s mood like when Dev shows up at the wedding?
When Dev turns up at the wedding service it’s quite obvious to Karl that something isn’t right. Karl’s head is swimming and racing all over the place. But he knows he has to act as normal as possible.

As we know, this storyline marks the end of your time on the Street – will you miss it?
I will be genuinely sad to leave and sorry to be leaving all of the people I work with here. Karl’s taken some surprising turns, which have kept me busy, and a character like him has been great to play. I’ve made some great friends - I’ll really miss my nights out with Mikey North [Gary] and Ian Puleston-Davies [Owen]. We are the three musketeers!

However, I’m I’m very excited to have this new challenge at Holby City [Michie is to play consultant neurosurgeon Guy Self on the BBC1 medical drama]. I’ve done some research and it’ll be great to take on such a fascinating role.

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