So, what’s the reason in the story for Stan being in hospital?
It’s the same that what actually happened to me in reality - a broken ankle. Whether he has had surgery or not, I don’t know. We first see him in hospital. He’s been in for a few days, so I think he has had the same surgery as I have. Having your ankle pinned means he's got to spend quite a lot of time in plaster, and eventually, he will be able to hobble about.
There's a dinner scene where Stan reveals his true colours - can you tell us more about that?
Yes, he manages to offend everyone because he hasn’t got any kind of social tact at all. In fact, if he was confronted about not having any social tact, he would ask what social tact was and why it was necessary.
There are members of the family that he finds more congenial than others. He likes Johnny but can’t really cope with the fact he is gay. Yet after an initial, very rude couple of outbursts about both Tina and Johnny being gay, he warms to them both.
We know there's a damaged family history concerning Mick and Stan - so how does Mick react to Stan being at the Vic?
Mick very much blames Stan for things that have gone wrong for him. And there are things that he doesn’t know about, things that he is confused about and things he’s unhappy about. It’s all so complicated. We’re finding out more and more about the past history.
Do you hope that Stan’s children and grandchildren will soften towards him or do you quite like the brittleness?
No, I don’t like the brittleness. I assume that has to be there in such a relationship but no, he enjoys the warmth. When Tina is kind to him, he likes that. He would like them to be a very warm, respectful family, on his terms.
Are there any characters - excluding the Carters - with whom you'd like to share some scenes?
I’m afraid I’m still very ignorant about a lot of the rest of the characters as when I get a hunk of script I just go through the scenes that happen in our family. I mean, I watch the show and I am fascinated by the different stories but I don’t get involved. I, though, have enormous respect for June Brown.