Coronation Street: “Daniel suspects Phelan has something to hide” – Rob Mallard interview

The actor teases Weatherfield's ace reporter could be the one to expose Pat's crimes

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Soap fans are curious to see how Coronation Street villain Pat Phelan will get his comeuppance and who could expose his dastardly deeds. When local newspaper reporter Daniel Osbourne starts digging in the bullying builder’s past in pursuit of a story next week, will he discover the sinister secrets Pat’s so desperate to keep hidden?

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Fed up of covering boring local events and desperate for a headline-grabbing scoop, Daniel’s ears prick up when Yasmeen Nazir starts badmouthing Phelan about last year’s property scam when he and pal Vinny Ashford conned the community into investing in a development of luxury flats. Phelan blamed Vinny when he scarpered with all the cash, but some of the neighbours still suspect he wasn’t entirely innocent of any wrongdoing…

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“This story seems to fall in front of him thanks to Yasmeen,” says Rob Mallard, who plays Daniel. “She puts him in the right direction and Daniel tries to speak to Phelan, but he immediately dismisses him when it’s just the two of them. But when there are more people around he’s incredibly useful and can’t help enough.

“These two sides of Phelan make Daniel think there is something else going on here…”

Keen to impress his editor Cindy – and not just with his journalistic skills as a spark of attraction ignites between them – determined Daniel is encouraged to chase the story. Following Phelan to the derelict house where he’s secretly holding Andy Carver hostage, there’s a near-miss as Pat tackles his nosy neighbour before he can start poking around in the basement.

As tension mounts between Phelan and Daniel, Anna Windass’s name crops up and the intrepid Mr Osbourne gets the distinct impression there’s bad blood between them. But when he pays a visit to the cafe worker he realises the resentment runs very deep indeed…

“Daniel thinks the worst thing Phelan has done is scam people so in terms of his threat level, he just sees him as an opportunist who tried to take people’s money,” continues Mallard. “He’s not yet aware of how much danger he could be in until Anna warns him to stay away, but even then Daniel feels this is just a personal gripe between Anna and Phelan and that she’s throwing mud at him.”

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Weatherfield’s wannabe ace reporter isn’t giving up though, and a new lead takes him to a nursing home where he makes a very interesting discovery… Phelan follows his nemesis and panics Daniel is on the verge of exposing something huge. “Up until that point Phelan just thinks he’s a student writing a little piece and when Daniel goes to the nursing home, Phelan panics.”

Phelan has so far gone to great lengths to protect his wrongdoing, leaving Michael Rodwell to die when he rumbled his part in the property scam and keeping Andy prisoner for the best part of a year to prevent exposure. Daniel could be in danger, but Mallard advises not to underestimate his mercurial character who may well prove to be a match for Pat.

“Both Daniel and Phelan are incredibly calculating and are both social manipulators who know how to distract attention to avoid being exposed. When Phelan found Ken at the bottom of the stairs after Daniel pushed him, he was immediately suspicious of Daniel – and rightly so. I think Daniel and Phelan have both underestimated each other and it will be interesting to see if they realise how clever the other one is.”

However, Mallard acknowledges this could all end badly for Daniel if he continues to provoke Phelan. “He’s like a little blue bottle that keeps flying around a warthog’  head and won’t stop. Phelan is the warthog and Daniel is the thing that will inevitably need to be swotted!”

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