In the wake of her break-up from Peter, troubled Carla Barlow (Alison King) is to catch the eye of mechanic Luke Britton (Dean Fagan). A drink in the Rovers leads to an invitation back to her place, but are Carla and Luke really set for a night of passion? Here, Dean Fagan reveals more about this unlikely pairing and what the future holds for his character...
For how long has Carla been on Luke’s radar?
The first time Luke properly notices her is when he’s in the garage and he spies her ankles as he’s peering underneath a car and she’s walking past in her high heels. He does sit up and take notice of her at that point and sees her in a different light.
How much does he know about the trauma she’s been through of late?
Luke knows all about Tina and Peter and what’s happened to Carla too. He’s heard bits and pieces along the way as well, but they’ve never really had a conversation before they chat in the pub.
And what happens when they have their conversation in the Rovers?
Well, Luke’s had a few pints, so he’s larking around and probably being a bit bawdy. Luke’s not shy around the women, so he goes up to her and asks if he can buy her a drink. It’s a bit of a challenge for him, really. And It’s a turning point for Carla as well because she decides to forget about everything else and roll with it. So she says yes to the drink.
So is it more about the challenge or does Luke genuinely want to get to know Carla?
Carla’s a very complicated woman and I think Luke does see her as a challenge at first, in the same way that he viewed Tina as a bit of a challenge too. Carla’s quite off with him at first. but then as time passes he realises she’s got a depth to her and that there’s much more beneath the surface.
Do you think he feels sorry for Carla when he sees how fragile she is?
It’s quite complex for Luke - far more complex than he thought it ever would be when he first offered her a drink! As an older brother to Steph, he can kind of see a bit of Steph in Carla and he would never ever want Steph to be hurt in the way that Carla has been.
So, he rapidly grows quite protective over Carla when he realises just how hurt she’s been. Steph is a strong, independent girl and he sees that Carla’s like that too - but she’s been brought down by what Peter did to her.
What are Luke’s feelings when Carla invites him back to hers?
Actually, it’s really awkward when she invites Luke back, actually! Peter’s there when Carla asks him, so Luke does feel a bit out of sorts about it. Luke doesn’t want to say no, he’s quite tipsy and he’s up for going back with her. She’s a strong-minded woman so she won’t take no for an answer either!