Carly Hope is to make a hasty exit next week after a heist that she carries out with Ross Barton attracts police attention. As viewers know, Ross and Carly are both in need of money – he to pay off a local gangster and she after taking what was in Gennie’s memorial fund. But when Ross comes up with a plan to get hold of some cash, Carly has little idea about what she’s letting herself in for.
“She’s told that it’s just a driving job which Ross has planned,” explains Gemma Atkinson. “But it’s a heist. Ross assaults one of the drivers of Jimmy’s vans and leaves him for dead. It’s up to Carly to ring for an ambulance and she’s been left in this horrible situation. I feel really sorry for her, to be honest.”
With Ross having hit the driver of Jimmy’s van over the head with a baseball bat after Carly blocks the road with a fake broken down car, it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of control. And Carly is getting to see Ross’s true colours for the first time.
“She’s disgusted with him. What Ross does is horrendous,” continues the actress. “But Carly has got a conscience and a caring side. The audience will see that and, hopefully, they’ll now start to sympathise with her.”
Ever since she arrived in the village, Carly has had a fractious relationship with dad Bob, but it’s to him that she’ll turn after the heist leaves her wracked with anxiety. “Bob gets the truth out of Carly because she’s getting fed up of lying and running from the truth. She’s in need of help so she tells him what’s happened and that she did everything for him. But Bob is disgusted and it’s the final straw for him.”
With Carly having admitted to the crime, Bob is left in turmoil over what to do. But, in the end, he decides to confess to Brenda about what has been going on. “Carly is begging Bob not to come clean, but he does. He tells Brenda and she calls the police on them! She reports Bob and Val for fraud. And she reports Carly for being the mastermind behind it. So, Bob gets arrested and Carly gets a visit from the police.”
Scenes to be shown on Wednesday 15 July see Carly lying to the police about her identity, before fleeing the village to leave her nearest and dearest in the mire. “Yes, Carly isn’t exactly honest with the police,” says Atkinson. “She has a good story planned and then she does a runner and leaves Bob and Val to it.”
But the actress has little doubt that her character will back at some point in the future. “It’s safe to say that, with Carly, there’s always something up her sleeve. She isn’t legging it in order to hide. She wants to come up with a Plan B. She’ll want to come back to save the day and hopefully apologise. I’m hoping that she comes back with a way to make it better for everyone. But it’ll probably be something dodgy.”
For now though, Carly will exit having made the situation worse for just about everybody involved. Bob’s marriage is destroyed because Brenda no longer trusts him. His relationship with Carly is also wrecked thanks to her actions. And Jimmy’s business also looks set to face police scrutiny in the wake of the heist. Not bad going for a character who has only been around since March this year. But Atkinson has high hopes that this catastrophe will prove to be the turning point for Carly.
“This is a big eye opener for her. She’s been mixing with the wrong crowd. But hopefully this will make her change her ways. There’s been this knock-on effect because of how selfish, stupid and naive she’s been. But I feel that she’s learned her lesson.”
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