Coronation Street spoilers: Hayley’s funeral – Jennie McAlpine interview and first look pictures

"Roy's a very honest and straightforward man and he doesn’t think it’s just or fair to let everyone grieve for Hayley and not tell them about what she’s done," says the actress who plays Fiz Stape in the ITV soap


Last night, Corrie viewers saw Hayley’s emotional and traumatic exit as she committed suicide in the face of a diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer. But what’s to become of  those left behind? Here, actress Jennie McAlpine – who plays Fiz Stape – reveals what happens in upcoming episodes as her character finds out how Hayley met her end. It’s a discovery that leads to a fall out with Roy and tensions running high on the day of the funeral itself:


So, what is Fiz’s reaction to Hayley’s death? 
She’s absolutely devastated. Even though they’ve expected it and known for some time that she’s going to die, it’s a shock for Fiz. The audience knew that Hayley was going to end her life but Fiz didn’t. She knew Hayley didn’t have long left, but she didn’t realise it was going to be that soon.

So she feels that the end was rather sudden and unexpected?
Yes she does as she’d seen her only that day. She’d seen her alive and then suddenly she wasn’t there anymore. She’s shocked but once the shock has gone and she’s had time to think, she starts to realise that Hayley could have been saying her last goodbyes and therefore knew she was going to die that night.

Until she overhears Anna and Roy talking, does Fiz suspect that there’s anything suspicious about Hayley’s death? 
Fiz walks in and finds Anna and Roy talking about Hayley, but they go quiet and it’s obvious that they don’t want her to hear what they are saying. She thinks this is strange and then throughout the day nothing seems to add up. The way Roy is behaving is odd, plus there was something odd about the way Hayley was acting in the run up to her death.

Does Carla’s reaction increase these suspicions? 
Fiz tells Carla that she thinks Hayley was saying her goodbyes but Carla tells her not to think about it. I think Carla knows at this point that Fiz is on to something and because of Carla’s cagey reaction she goes to Roy and asks him. At that point Fiz doesn’t think Hayley ended her life, but she knows that something just doesn’t add up.

What are her feelings when she finds out the truth? 
She’s really angry. She’s quite selfish in the way she reacts and the way she behaves. It’s distressing for Roy because she gets very angry with him and it’s unusual for them to argue. Roy asks her what she would have done differently and she tells him she would have been able to stop her. She really takes it out on Roy, but I think she’s angry with Hayley at that point.

Is she jealous of Anna and Carla because they knew what was happening? 
She feels embarrassed that Anna and Carla knew. Fiz feels she was closer to Hayley and therefore should have known, but the situation isn’t how Fiz imagines it in her head. Anna found out accidently and so did Carla. She feels stupid and angry – and Roy gets the backlash because Hayley isn’t there anymore. She’s grieving.

Does Fiz disapprove of what Hayley did? 
At the time, I think she does. It’s such a sensitive issue to tackle and Fiz puts across the other side of the argument. Anna and Carla are very much for Hayley’s decision, but Fiz doesn’t think it was Hayley’s decision to make.

Does she understand why Hayley chose to do this? 
Fiz realises that something like that was a choice that only Hayley could make. It was the right thing for Hayley and for that situation.

Roy needs her, so surely she can forgive him for not stopping Hayley and not telling Fiz? 
The promise that she made to Hayley to look after Roy is at the back of Fiz’s mind. She will look after him, but close families do fall out and they’re not going to agree on everything. Roy is full of regret too and the last thing he needs is Fiz having a go at him. He didn’t want Hayley to go through with it and he starts to feel angry afterwards.

Does she confide in Tyrone? 
She doesn’t tell Tyrone until the day of the funeral and then only because Roy is thinking of boycotting the service. Tyrone is incredibly understanding and tells her it must have been a really difficult choice for Hayley. He makes Fiz see sense.

What was it like to film the funeral scenes?
At that point, Roy’s emotions are really complex. The whole funeral is about Roy pretending that Hayley was all these nice things, when inside Roy is angry with Hayley. He’s a very honest and straightforward man and he doesn’t think it’s just or fair to let everyone grieve for Hayley and not tell them about what she’s done. Fiz, Anna and Carla all stay by Roy’s side because they are terrified he’s going to say something. She thinks he would regret it if he did.


How much are you missing working with Julie now she’s left? 
We are really missing her. I’m going to go and see her new play at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, which I’m really excited about. We will definitely stay in touch.