Coronation Street: Billy’s dark past revealed after shock arrest – Daniel Brocklebank interview

"It shows a completely different side to him," says the actor

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The past of Coronation Street vicar Billy Mayhew will come back to haunt him next week when he’s arrested on suspicion of robbery.

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Billy will be left stunned when he’s taken in by the police and grilled about an armed heist that took place in 2001, his prints having been found on a burnt-out car.

On the advice of Adam, Billy refuses to answer any questions, but will later be seen making a shock confession to Todd…

Later on, things go from bad to worse when social services learn all about Billy’s arrest. So will Billy and Todd end up losing Summer due to the clergyman’s past sins? Here’s actor Daniel Brocklebank with his take on all the latest drama:

What are Billy’s first thoughts when he is arrested for robbery?
Billy is horrified – the fingerprints he gave when he handed himself in for hitting Peter have brought up a cold case from 2001. But when he’s arrested he has no idea why and he thinks it’s a mistake.

What happens at the police station when the police ask Billy questions?
Todd has sent Adam in and he takes Billy aside and tells him to say nothing. So, although this goes against Billy’s moral stance, he keeps his mouth shut.

Is Billy worried that social services will find out about his arrest?
Yes of course – Billy and Todd are trying for adoption and the poor kid has been through enough with the death of Drew, so he knows that this potentially could damage their future.

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How much involvement have you had with the character of Billy and his past?
Initially it was conversations with the writers and it came from me saying, “If you ever write a scene for me with my top off, you are going to have to explain why the vicar has tattoos”, which they thought was interesting.

So when that eventually happened, which was a couple of years ago, there was a line about a past life. It was clear that there was a life before Billy became a vicar. But it wasn’t really until Kate Oates arrived and she asked me and I said that from my perspective it would be interesting to know why he became a vicar.

I’ve known people in my life who have become born-again Christians to remove themselves from unpleasant and dark situations. So I thought that it was a very interesting thing to give a vicar a colourful past.

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What do think the viewers reactions will be to Billy’s confession?
I’m excited but slightly nervous because it does show a completely different side to him. It’s not fundamentally changing who Billy is now – it just means we have more of an idea who Billy was before he became the person he is now. It’s still Billy, but just with a hell of a lot more information about him.

Have you enjoyed playing a darker storyline?
From an actor’s perspective, it’s great because I’m learning more and more about who Billy was prior to him joining Coronation Street. It’s been great to make Billy more three dimensional, to flesh him out, to give him a history.

It’s a weird job in a sense that with a drama or a play or a movie you know the character’s entire arc – you’ve got a beginning, a middle and an end. In something like Corrie, you are constantly playing the middle bit, so to suddenly discover his past and work out who Billy is and where he is from has been a joy.

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below

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