Coronation Street spoilers: Nick orders David to get a paternity test – Ben Price interview

"Nick wants everything out in the open and for there to be no more secrets or lies"

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After Nick wakes from his coma, he is soon revealed to be a man in a very bad mood. The extent of his brain damage is still unknown, but he’s quick to issue his brother with an ultimatum: get a paternity test carried out on baby Lily or he’ll reveal everything to the family. Here, Ben Price reveals what exactly a determined Nick intends to do next as David (Jack P Shepherd) frets about the future:

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Nick wakes up in a grouchy mood. Is that due to the state he’s in or because he’s struggling to remember what happened? 
He totally remembers what happened, so his mood is partly to do with the accident and partly because he knows his brother tried to kill him. Nick’s injuries are a separate issue for him. He has his own anger about that. David’s really hoping that Nick won’t be able to remember what happened – but he does, and that’s really important.

So when does everything come back to Nick? 
Immediately. Nick’s short-term memory seems completely intact – it’s his long-term memory that isn’t so great. For example, he’s forgetting things such as Bethany’s name or random words. But Nick’s memories of what happened before he ended up in hospital are vivid.

When Nick was in a coma, David stood by his bedside, poured his heart out and apologised for what he did. Is Nick picking up on this when he wakes up?
I don’t think Nick actually cares what David says or does anymore. David tried to kill him and that will never go away. So, to a great extent, it doesn’t matter at all what he says now that Nick is awake. David will only ever try and save his own skin, and Nick knows that.

So what is Nick intending to do? Is he quietly brewing over the situation while he decides what’s best? 
No, I think he’s quite happy to tell everyone the truth. He wants to get it all sorted – find out who’s baby Lily is, and then the family will know where they all stand. Nick wants everything out in the open and for there to be no more secrets or lies. He’s a different guy now. He knows that sooner or later it’ll all come out, so he’d rather have control of it.

What happens when Nick summons David to his bedside? 
Nick asks David to get a DNA test, which David doesn’t want to do. But Nick threatens to expose him unless he agrees. David wants to know what Nick is going to do with the information before he agrees to do it. Nick says that if the baby is David’s, then he’ll keep quiet. But if it’s his, then Nick tells him that will change things. Nick knows they need to do this in order to be able to move on. However, David’s so scared about losing Kylie.

How does David react when he realises Nick remembers every detail?
He’s scared because he’s now faced with a man who just doesn’t care anymore. Nick has always cared – he’s always made sure his mum, his brother and Leanne are all OK. Nick’s always been so calm, but that’s changed now. As far as Nick’s concerned, David can go to hell. The gloves are off.

So Nick’s a bit bitter then? 
Of course he is – he can’t walk! He’s in a bad place physically and mentally.

Will Nick ever find it in him to forgive David? 
No. Not for a very long time! I think too much has happened between them now – it’s gone too far. Until they find a common enemy, I can’t imagine things will be right between them.

Have Nick’s injuries changed his attitude to life?
Definitely. He’s come so close to dying and has been left with brain injuries that have put him in a place he’s never been before. He’s not Mr Nice Guy anymore.

How are things with Leanne since Nick woke up?
Good. I think poor Leanne has been trying hard to be honest and has admitted she knows the next few months aren’t going to be easy. Nick isn’t the man he used to be – he’s not going to be able to run the Bistro and be the active family man he was before. But Nick knows it’s only a matter of time before she finds out, so he knows that’s coming.

I think Nick is aware that Leanne is committed to him now, but he’s also realistic and knows that the reason he slept with Kylie was because of what Leanne did on their wedding day. It’s great to play that doubt as an actor. It’s more of a question of what will happen when she finds out.

Do you think they could survive it? 
No, I don’t think they could. Leanne is a hypocrite seeing as she went to see Peter on her wedding day, but then I don’t know how much that will wash seeing as Nick slept with his sister-in-law! Especially as he’s kept it hidden from her for months.

Nick gets nasty and short-tempered with his mum while he’s recovering from the crash. Why is that?
He finds her irritating because Gail wants to mother him. I think you always take it out on those closest to you.

When Nick wakes up, is he told he has a long road ahead of him? 
Yes. Nick is advised to expect a long road to recovery, and that it will be very difficult. He’s told there will be a lot of things that may shock or surprise him. Things won’t be the same for a long while, but you can’t keep Nick down. He has so much drive within him.

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And are you relieved that Nick is conscious again, Ben? 
[Laughs] Oh I don’t know, it was quite good to play. Yes I am actually. It’s great to get some dialogue and move the story forwards. I’m ready to get my teeth into the consequences of the crash and for Nick to figure out how best to deal with them.