It’s fair to say that Fiz and Tyrone are currently playing with fire. First Fiz hatched a plan for Ty to marry the abusive Kirsty, so he could become the official father to baby Ruby. Now, in the weeks to come, we’ll see Tyrone and Fiz grow closer and embark on a clandestine affair.
It’s a dangerous business to be sure, especially in light of the way Kirsty has targeted both Tyrone and her perceived rival. But what is it like in real life for actress Jennie McAlpine on the occasions she’s gone up against Natalie Gumede when her co-star’s in full-on Kirsty mode?
“Natalie’s very good and I know she puts a huge amount of effort into those violent scenes,” says McAlpine. “When I’ve done any of those type of scenes with Natalie, we always make sure we have a hug afterwards and make sure both of us are OK. I’m not really scared as the scenes are very carefully worked out so that we don’t actually hurt one another when we’re filming them.”
Fiz and Tyrone have both experienced Kirsty’s violence of late, so what does Alpine believe Fiz is trying to achieve by advising Ty to stay with her at No 9?
“I don’t think she really knows whether it’s a good idea or not. But she’s got this plan for Tyrone to gain paternal rights for his daughter and to then ultimately to expose Kirsty. They’re dealing with those whole situation on a day-to-day basis and therefore she’s not really considering whether or not it’s a good idea for Tyrone to stay in a domestic situation with Kirsty. I suppose, thinking about it now, it is a good idea for Tyrone to stay at home with Kirsty in order for the long-term plan to work.”
And is she worried for his and baby Ruby’s safety? “Yes, she does genuinely worry,” the actress admits. “Kirsty really is a nasty piece of work as Fiz has experienced herself at first hand. Tyrone’s keen not to do anything to aggravate Kirsty and this actually irritates Fiz, but deep down Fiz knows it’s the right thing to do. She finds it very hard watching Tyrone do everything he can to appease Kirsty and pretend to the outside world that everything is normal in his relationship with Kirsty as Fiz knows how much he is suffering behind closed doors.”
In the weeks to come those platonic concerns morph into more romantic feelings. Fiz, of course, has history with Tyrone having, at one time, come between him and Maria. But does she now realise that she’s falling for Tyrone again?
“Yes, I think she does but it’s a slow, gradual process and I think the viewers will probably spot it before Fiz herself realises she is. It’s one of those situations where all your friends realise you may be falling for someone before you realise it yourself.”
During this time, viewers will also see Kirsty arranging Tyrone’s surprise 30th birthday party. So what happens on that particular night?
“Well, Fiz has snuck round to Tyrone’s house on the morning of his birthday and met him at his back door and wished him happy birthday. She asks him what plans he’s got for that evening and is surprised to hear that he’s arranged to stay in that evening as Kirsty’s going out with her friends. Obviously, Tyrone’s unaware that Kirsty is secretly arranging a party in the Rovers for Tyrone. Fiz thinks it’s not fair that Tyrone’s spending his birthday on his own, so she arranges to visit once Kirsty’s left the house.
“Later that evening, Fiz sneaks into Tyrone’s house and gives him a cake and some beers. The evening’s going well with Fiz and Ty sharing a tender moment, but then they get interrupted by Kirsty arriving back with Emily in tow. Kirsty tells him that she’s arranged for Emily to babysit and that she’s thrown him a surprise party in the Rovers. Fiz has to hide out of view at this point and it’s one of those nerve-jangling moments where you’re praying that Kirsty doesn’t discover she’s there.”
A classic Corrie cliffhanger, then. So is Fiz really scared that she’s going to get caught? “She realises, as she’s crouching behind the bar in Tyrone’s living room, that meeting up with Tyrone at his house was a very bad move on Fiz’s part. She manages to escape unnoticed by Emily, who’s been left behind babysitting Ruby. She tracks Tyrone down in the Rovers and he tells her that they cannot put themselves in that situation again and must not act upon their feelings for one another. He says that what happened between them in the house was a mistake, which upsets Fiz, but she has to accept Tyrone’s point of view. So they resolve to stay away from each other.”
But that isn’t the end of the matter. Pretty soon after this, Kirsty finds a birthday card that Fiz has dropped at Tyrone’s house. But even though Kirsty’s default reaction is to go ballistic, McAlpine reveals that the response is initially quite different:
“Yes, Kirsty finds the card, but she doesn’t react immediately. She dwells on it overnight and then angrily challenges Tyrone about it in the morning. He has to cover and tells Kirsty that Fiz is obsessed with him. Tyrone then rushes over to the café with Ruby to beg Fiz to play along with his cover story, but she’s disheartened by the whole situation and tells him that she’s not prepared to go along with the lie and that he can’t keep messing with her feelings.
“But in his haste, Tyrone hasn’t noticed that he’s dropped one of Ruby’s baby toys on the floor. Kirsty calls in at the café later to confront Fiz about the card, but Fiz stands her ground and refuses to apologise. This angers Kirsty a lot, but the situation is made worse when Roy finds the toy and hands it back. At this point, Kirsty realises that Tyrone has been in the café earlier that day speaking to Fiz and her anger leads to her taking her violence against Tyrone to another level.”
After this latest attack, does Fiz start to worry that Tyrone won’t make it through to the wedding?
“This really is the first time that Fiz sees the extent of Tyrone’s injuries and she’s shocked and saddened by what she sees. He’s covered in scars from past incidents as well, so this really causes her concern.
“Back when the plan was hatched, Tyrone probably still had some empathy for Kirsty, but now he’s just staying with her as a means to an end, so Fiz does worry that he may snap. He’s under a massive amount of pressure and Fiz does worry about his mental health. So Fiz now has to learn to play the game and not be confrontational with Kirsty and do everything she can to make sure that Kirsty doesn’t have any reason to take her anger out on Tyrone.”
But we can reveal, though, that Fiz and Tyrone do end up in bed together. Is this a serious relationship for Fiz now?
“Well, because of the unique situation that Tyrone and Fiz find themselves in I hope that viewers will not see them as cheating on Kirsty. We have to remember that Tyrone doesn’t want to be with Kirsty anymore and is only living this lie to gain parental rights to his daughter. Fiz and Ty have grown really close in recent and they really are soul mates, so it is a serious relationship for them both.
“I would hope that, having been through all this turmoil, there will be a happy outcome for them both. They just need to get Kirsty out of the equation.”
Viewers will no doubt breathe a huge sigh of relief that Tyrone is finally getting some support in his plight. So does McAlpine think fans would be happy to see Fiz and Tyrone back together permanently?
“I think they would be pleased if that was to happen. A few people on the street have grabbed me and told me how lovely they think it would be to see Fiz and Tyrone bringing up their children together.”
The danger is, though, that Kirsty could turn murderous in the meantime. Surely Fiz is dicing with danger? Yes, I think she is playing with fire. She loves Tyrone but she’s trying to be with a man who’s actually not available at the moment and Fiz is under no illusion of just what Kirsty is capable of, yet she keeps coming back for more.
“I suppose if Kirsty was capable of murder, Fiz would be her number one target. But I’m not sure that she would go that far and I don’t want to mention it in case it gives the writers any ideas.”