Former Waterloo Road star Melanie Hill is to make her Corrie debut next week playing allotment owner Cathy Matthews, who is set to become a new friend for Roy Cropper (David Neilson). But it will soon be revealed that she’s hiding something major from the cafe owner.
“She doesn’t have many friends and yet she trusts Roy. But there’s more to her than meets the eye,” says Hill. “In future episodes, it’ll be revealed that she’s carrying a big secret that she doesn’t want Roy to find out about. It’s going to be very interesting, but that’s further down the line. If I say any more, I’ll be sacked before I’ve even appeared on screen!”
Cathy will bond with Roy over respective losses in their lives, he having struggled in the wake of wife Hayley’s demise last year and she following the death of her husband. But actress Hill is adamant that Cathy should not be seen as a replacement for the much-loved Hayley, played until her exit back in 2014 by Julie Hesmondhalgh.
“Cathy is being introduced as a friend for Roy, so it’s all going to be very gently done,” she insists. “I’d never try to replace Hayley in any way because she was such a popular character. The common ground between Cathy and Roy is that they’ve both lost their partners. So they strike up this friendship because they’re both quite lonely. They start confiding in each other and Roy ends up talking about things that he wouldn’t normally discuss with people on the Street.”
But her attachment to Roy looks set to raise the hackles of his nearest and dearest once they get wind of what’s happening. “They’re going to have a problem with Cathy,” Hill comments. “She’s an outsider and they’re trying to protect Roy. They don’t really know what her interest is with him. So expect some aggro, especially where Fiz and Mary are concerned.”
Yet despite Cathy finding opposition from some of Weatherfield’s most familiar faces, Hill herself couldn’t be happier to land a job on the ITV soap.
“I’ve signed for a year and it really is perfect timing for me. I’m happy to do something long-running, so long may it last. I did Waterloo Road for three-and-a-half years and I like working like that. Very often in this business, you’re working with people for three months and then you have to move on. And I find it quite daunting, as I get older, to get thrown in with new people.
“I like staying with the same people – it’s a comfort. A lot of actors don’t like that, which is fair enough. But it appeals to me at my time of life.”
Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
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