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Constancy is a rare thing in soap relationships. Bust-ups are ten-a-penny and infidelity is widespread but Roy and Hayley have always stood united, anoraks against the world. Now that love story is to come to an end with the climax of a plot that has, at times, been almost unbearably sad.
Here we see Hayley (Julie Hesmondhalgh) preparing for her death by ironing the shirt she’d like Roy to wear to her funeral. It’s such a Hayley thing to do and a fine example of how this plotline has stayed true to the Croppers’ quirks and foibles while saying something universal about love and suffering.
The fact that we follow soap opera characters over years and sometimes decades means that the genre has always been able to chart life and loss. But what hurts the most about Hayley’s demise is that, as Weatherfield’s bastion of kindness and decency, she’s an especially rare breed. It’s hard to imagine how the likes of Carla, Fiz and — most of all — Roy are going to manage without her.
Hayley irons Roy's best shirt and asks him to wear it at her funeral, prompting him to plead with his wife to reconsider her decision - but her mind is made up. As she prepares to take the cocktail of drugs, Hayley tells him he must not touch the glass or have any part in it, while downstairs Anna shuts the cafe and sits alone in the dark, sensing something is amiss. Elsewhere, Chesney and Sinead are excited as she moves into No 5, and Dennis and Gloria discuss their plans for another concert.
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