Michelle Keegan is in little doubt about what the residents of Coronation Street think about Tina’s decision to keep the baby she was carrying for Gary and Izzy:
“Everyone around Tina thinks she’s in the wrong and is making a mistake, even Tommy,” says the actress. “But he’s standing by her because he doesn’t want to lose her again. In Tina’s mind, she’s doing the right thing for the baby and in her heart it feels right. So she really doesn’t care what people are saying at this stage.”
There’s certainly no denying that Corrie’s surrogacy saga has divided opinion down Weatherfield way. Battle lines have been drawn and the warring factions both seem prepared to put up a fight, but how does Tina feel about the prospect of facing Izzy (Cherylee Houston) in court?
“Tina is insanely protective of the baby. She knows that technically the baby isn’t biologically hers, but because she’s carried him for so long and given birth to him she feels such an attachment. By law the baby is also hers too so she finds it hard to escape that fact.
“Yet reality hits home when she gets notification of her first court appearance and she suddenly realises exactly what she’s going to have to go through to fight for Joe. She knows she’s going to have to go through with it now and she decides that the money she got for carrying the baby will be used towards the court fees.”
Next week, however, sees events take an unforeseen turn when Izzy gives up the fight for the baby. After growing concerned that a legal battle will take years and that – even if she wins – the baby will have to be torn away from Tina, Izzy visits the hospital and tells her rival that she won’t fight her anymore. So does Tina feel like she’s won?
“No, she doesn’t feel like she’s won. She’s actually hit by the realisation that she’s doing wrong,” says Keegan. “Izzy decides to give up the fight and sacrifice her own happiness so that the baby won’t be pulled backwards and forwards. And that’s when Tina realises Izzy is a true mum.”
But how difficult would it be for Tina to give up Joe were she to have a change of heart? “It would be extremely difficult. She’s so attached to him and she’s blinded by her love for him.”
So much so that that she’d find it too hard to stay in the area if she handed him over? “In a way she would want to stay because she would want to see Joe growing up. But then it would be so difficult to see him with Izzy and Gary. In the end, I think Tina would have no choice but to get back to reality and get on with it, which she is really good at doing.”
Of course, the one solace she’d have would be her rekindled romance with Tommy Duckworth (Chris Fountain), who has pledged his support for Tina no matter what her decision turns out to be. So does Keegan envisage a future for the pair?
“Yes, definitely. They’ve always loved each other. The reason they separated wasn’t because they didn’t love each other but because Tommy couldn’t handle the surrogacy. So feelings haven’t changed and they’ve just picked up where they left off. Tina can’t imagine a life without him.”