Coronation Street spoilers: Phelan blackmails Owen and Gary after attack, says Ian Puleston-Davies

The Windasses are forced to work for a basic wage on the mill project when Phelan threatens to go to the police following Gary's assault


Villainous Pat Phelan (Connor McIntyre) is to turn the tables on the Windass family in next week’s episodes.


After surviving an attack by a riled Gary (Mikey North), Phelan will show both him and Owen CCTV footage of the assault. The two builders are soon left having to comply with Phelan’s blackmail demands: either they finish the mill project for a basic wage or Phelan will go to the police.

So, how does Owen feel at having to work like a slave, knowing that he wouldn’t be in this position were it not for Gary’s rash actions? Actor Ian Puleston-Davies tells us more:

So, is Owen annoyed that Anna never told him about Phelan’s advances?
He’s feeling very emasculated at the moment. He feels he’s let Anna down, even though he wasn’t at all instrumental in what happened. In his mind he wasn’t there to protect her. He’s a very proud man. Owen is an old-school type and I have great fun exploring that type of old-fashioned family man.

What’s his reaction when Gary tells him about hitting Phelan?
He has a good relationship with Gary. He sees him as a mate but also as his stepson. He knows that Gary can be a loose cannon and that he’s made a fundamental mistake. Gary’s a typical youth who will act now and think later but I think the ramifications are very clear to Owen. He’s justifiably appalled and genuinely worried about the outcome.

So what Owen suggest that they do?
Owen shows extraordinary patience and calmness. One of the reasons Owen likes Gary is because he sees himself in him. He was a hotwire when he was Gary’s age and he identifies with him greatly, but Owen has grown up in the last few years and he’s now showing a responsibility that he’s never shown before. He realises he has to be responsible for Gary’s temper, so maybe he’s tempering his own temper to be protective of Gary.

What’s Owen’s reaction when he and Gary discover that Phelan has disappeared?
Initially, Owen tries to reassure Gary that everything will be all right but he’s very concerned about Phelan’s whereabouts. Phelan is a very dangerous and devious man and Owen knows he’s going to be looking over his shoulder all of the time.

Then we see that Phelan turn up looking very much alive. How does that revelation impact on Owen?
He’s initially relieved that the man is alive and not dead. But once that relief wears off Owen goes into defence mode and wonders what this villain has been cooking up behind their backs. It’s the most testing time for Owen, but he’s prepared to do battle with Phelan for the sake of his family.

They’re blackmailed into working for a basic wage – how does Owen feel about that? Does he blame Gary at all?
He does blame Gary. This is the lowest their relationship has ever been. He’s feeling completely defenceless, worthless, and his masculinity is being questioned. This was supposed to be the making of them and bring them security. Now it’s all been taken away from him. They’re now working for a pittance; he’s lost his empire, it’s terribly testing and he is very much at breaking point. There’s no way out. It’s very bleak.  

How does Phelan manage to keep calm when Phelan winds him up about Anna?
He’s finding it desperately difficult. He wants to take the same plank that Gary whacked him with and do the same. The old Owen would probably have done that, but now he knows he can’t he has too much responsibility and the risks are too great. The fact that he doesn’t lash out at Phelan shows more strength than he’s ever shown before.

Does he wish Gary had killed Phelan?
In a way he does because in the same position he would have done the same. He’s being very hypocritical as he does think Phelan deserves everything that’s come to him. Phelan’s a very bad man.

And does he wish he’d listened to Anna’s concerns in the first place?
He knows he’s made a massive mistake, but he’s a typical bloke who thinks he knows best and would probably find it very difficult to acknowledge and accept his stupidity and stubbornness. He thought he had made the right choices but I think down the line, humility will win the day and he will realise he has made big mistakes and he will admit to them.


Has all of this caused a rift in Owen and Anna’s relationship? Does Anna blame Owen for this mess?
It’s putting a huge strain on their relationship. This is the closest they’ve ever been to splitting up. They’re surviving because they do love each other and they’re very strong, but this will be the make or break for them. They still have a huge struggle ahead of them.