Eileen Grimshaw and Michael Rodwell are to seek solace in each other’s arms – but will their moment of passion have fatal consequences?
With Michael having only just discovered that his son Gavin is really dead and Eileen reeling after her relationship hits the buffers, the pair will soon start to bond over a drink at No 11 Coronation Street. And, pretty soon, chatting is turning into kissing.
“They are talking about what has been happening to them both and there is a moment, a spark between them, and they kiss. It isn’t premeditated, it’s spur of the moment,” explains actress Sue Cleaver. “They’ve always got on really well when working together, but Eileen hasn’t really thought of Michael in that way before. So this has taken her by surprise.”
But as Eileen and Michael get physical on the sofa, he starts to struggle for breath before writhing in agony. “It seems that the heat of the moment is too much for Michael. Couple that with the stress of the day and he ends up collapsing onto Eileen’s sofa,” continues Cleaver.
Eileen is understandably horrified by the turn of events but her feelings turn to panic when Gail knocks on the door looking for her errant husband. Gail is shocked by Michael’s state, oblivious to the cause of it. And after Michael is admitted to hospital, both he and Eileen try desperately to keep word of their amorous encounter from Gail’s ears.
“Eileen has to confide in the doctor what was happening at the time of his collapse, but Michael and Eileen have both agreed not to tell Gail about their kiss.
“So it is very awkward with the two of them at his bedside and Gail asking questions about what exactly happened leading up to his collapse!”
In the end, Eileen admits to the medics that she and Michael were getting frisky at the time. But Eileen is shocked to see a tearful Gail standing nearby – has she overheard Eileen’s confession? And could all this lead to another cobbles catfight?
“I think this is almost inevitable,” laughs Cleaver. “The writers love having them as enemies, so when Gail finds out about Eileen and Michael it will no doubt lead to more arguments and maybe another fight! The fight on the street is the scene that so many people remember, so we have set the bar high!”
So does the actress enjoy playing the animosity between Gail and Eileen? “It’s great to do those scenes, Helen [Worth] and I get on really well and have known each other for years, so it’s fun to play the opposite of that. There are some great one-liners too. I think this feud is going to run and run!”
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