Izzy Armstrong (Cherylee Houston) and Gary Windass (Mikey North) are to call time on their relationship next week when recent stresses finally take their toll. Then there’s the fact that Gary has had that recent dalliance with a certain Alya Nazir (Sair Khan), an encounter that looks set to become common knowledge in true soap style. Here, actor Mikey North reveals what happens when Gary and Izzy decide to call it quits and the effect their decision has on their nearest and dearest…
When did Gary and Izzy start to drift apart? Things haven’t been right for a while. There’s been so much going on for the Windasses and Armstrongs recently and Gary has been so preoccupied with what happened with Phelan. They’ve both had a lot on their minds and money worries haven’t helped. They haven’t had much time to focus on them as a couple.
So do you think it was the Phelan fiasco that kicked it all off? I’d say so. Since the whole Gary and Tina thing there have probably always been underlying trust issues, but ultimately the money worries they’ve had recently have put so much strain on them. It’s also been difficult because of Gary and Owen’s relationship being up and down, which has put Izzy in an awkward situation.
Does Gary still have feelings for Izzy? Yes, of course. He’ll always care for her and they have Jake now too, so they’ll always have something between them. But I think they’re starting to get to a stage where they’ve almost forgotten they are a couple and meant to support and love one another. At the minute, all they do is bicker and they don’t even look forward to spending time with each other anymore.
Why did he spend the night with Alya? Gary had come to the realisation that things just weren’t working between him and Izzy. He never went out to intentionally cheat on Izzy or meet someone else, but he and Alya had a spark the moment they met and she really caught his eye. There was just something about her that he was drawn to – it was probably fun and exciting for him, something which he hasn’t had at home for so long. The drinks had been flowing and one thing led to another.
Has cheating on Izzy made him realise how bad things had been between the two of them? Yeah, in some ways. He does regret it in the morning because he doesn’t want to hurt Izzy and he hopes he wouldn’t have stayed over at Alya’s had he been sober. But Gary can’t remember the last time he had that much fun with Izzy.
Tell us what happens when Gary and Izzy go for a drink together and decide to split up… It’s awful for them both. It’s as though they have nothing left to say to one another. It’s quite sad really. It’s slightly easier for them to come to the conclusion that it’s over because they both feel the same. They realise they don’t have a future together anymore, except for the sake of Jake.
And how do they feel afterwards? It’s a mixture of emotions for them both, really. They’ve both known it was coming and admitting it was always going to be the hardest part. Gary and Izzy both know that they need to tell Owen and Anna and that they will be really upset, and that it will be yet another blow for the family.
They went through so much to have Jake – do they not want to try for his sake? When they first decide to split, they end it amicably and decide that there’s no rush for Gary to move out as they are still Jake’s parents and it’s not as though they are at each other’s throats.
Is he still worried about Izzy finding out about Alya, though? Of course. He doesn’t want Izzy to think that Alya’s the reason for the break-up. Despite their mutual split, Gary doesn’t want to hurt Izzy.
How do Owen and Anna take news of the split? They’re devastated and can’t quite believe it. I think they both feel gutted that Phelan has almost caused yet another break-up.
What happens when Alya drops Gary in it? Gary’s pretty gutted about that, but he knows Alya didn’t do it on purpose. He was kind of hoping it would never be found out, but this is Weatherfield! Nothing stays secret for long! Izzy’s shocked – she knew it wasn’t working between them, but I don’t think she ever expected to find out he’d cheated on her. She tells Gary that on second thoughts, maybe he should move out much sooner rather than later. It turns their amicable split slightly sour.
Is there a future for Gary and Alya? Who knows? It might be a bit awkward as Gary is mates with her dad, Kal, and obviously he’s only just broken up with Izzy. So I’m not sure where his head is at.