The Platts are to get a shock in an upcoming episode when Michael Rodwell (Les Dennis) turns up on their doorstep holding the love letter that Gail (Helen Worth) has supposedly written.
The declaration of affection has, of course, been mischievously written by Kylie (Paula Lane), but the stunt looks set to backfire when Gail gets increasingly attached to the man who recently attempted to steal from her.
David (Jack P Shepherd) and Kylie then turn up at Michael’s workplace and get him the sack, but it isn’t long before Gail is attempting to land him a job at Streetcars.
But David and Nick (Ben Price) aren’t going to stand for their mum’s association with Michael and decide to up the ante in their bid to get shot of him. Here, actor Les Dennis reveals all about the war that is set to break out between Michael and Gail’s increasingly determined sons…
Do you think Michael has changed his ways since his prison visit from Gail?
Michael isn’t a career burglar, so it’s not a case of him changing his ways and rather him seeing the error of his ways. He wasn’t intending to hurt anybody and he assumed Gail would be insured. I would like to think that, for the first time, Gail has a good man. He starts off bad, but over time we’re going to see he’s a good man at heart.
How does Michael feel when he receives the letter that is supposedly from Gail?
He’s absolutely over the moon. The letter says that she believes they belong together and he knows that there was definitely a spark there when they met in prison. He never thought in his wildest dreams that he would get a letter like this, so he’s really happy. That’s what makes Michael return to the Street and to go and visit Gail at her home. Then he finds out that all is not as it seems…
So what happens when he turns up on the Street?
He turns up at Gail’s door but David answers. Michael keeps calling him Nick, which is quite amusing! David shouts up to his mum before he realises who he really is. Michael’s told David that he’s an old school friend of Gail’s. When Gail comes down she’s shocked – she doesn’t expect to see him stood in her house again.
Is Michael disheartened when he finds out that Gail didn’t write the letter?
Very. Not least because he’s turned up at Gail’s door and made a right fool of himself! Michael turns up and says to Gail that he thought there was a spark between them too and that he’s delighted she feels the same about their future together. Then Gail asks to see the letter he’s referring to and tells him she didn’t write it. He’s gutted.
Does he realise then what’s happened?
Well, for a minute or two he can’t get his head round it – he thinks, if Gail didn’t write it, who did? Then he turns to look at David, who is stood there, and the cogs start to turn…it’s quite a comic moment.
So how does Michael end up getting a job in a garden centre?
He gets the job himself and he tells them all about his past. The guy who runs the centre decides to give him a chance. It’s all going really well because Michael loves gardening – he’s very green-fingered, which we’ll also see down the line. He’s loving the job but then one day Kylie, Max and David turn up and it all turns sour. They’ve got it in for him, big time.
What happens when they spot him?
They make his life a misery. They shout out to people to watch out for him, tell people to watch their wallets and not to trust him. They both embarrass him completely.
Is he angry with the Platts for their attempts at sabotage and for trying to ruin his friendship with Gail?
He can understand, to a certain extent, why they are doing what they’re doing and he can see why they think that Gail shouldn’t trust him. But then there does come a point where he starts to think he’s had enough punishment from them. Michael has a steely side to him and can stand up to them if he wants to.
There’s a point where Nick threatens Michael to stay away, but Michael does stand up for himself. But then he’s also worried about getting Gail in trouble too – so he decides to back off from Gail and from the Street.
If Michael was to start a relationship with Gail, does he think her family would make it tricky for him?
Michael’s prepared to get over those obstacles and I have filmed some scenes where he clings on as much as he can. Nick and David really do pull every trick out of the bag to keep him away and Michael tries to cope with it. Gail fights against her family too, as much as she can, but she does feel forced to choose between them and that’s heartbreaking. Michael tells Gail that she needs to start putting herself first.
How has it been being part of this storyline?
I’ve absolutely loved every second of it. When I first came into Corrie I knew I was being given a good role, but this is well beyond what I ever imagined. I love playing Michael – he’s sweet, but he’s also steely. It means I can go from having some funny scenes with Helen Worth to having a different dynamic with her family. The relationship with Nick is interesting too – neither one of them wants to back down.