Coronation Street: Hope’s cancer will put Tyrone and Fiz’s relationship under strain, says Alan Halsall

"There are times when it will be fractious, but it will also draw them together and hopefully make them stronger"

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Tyrone and Fiz are left facing an uncertain future when results of Hope’s biopsy reveal that she has neuroblastoma and will require chemotherapy.

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At the factory, Aidan agrees to Fiz being off work while Hope has treatment but regrets he can’t pay her. So how will Fiz react when Tyrone reveals he’s booked a trip to Lapland?

Here, actor Alan Halsall reveals all about the struggles that lie ahead for Tyrone and Fiz as they deal with every parent’s worst nightmare…

So, how do Fiz and Tyrone respond when the doctor tells them about Hope’s cancer?
It’s just a real kick in the gut for them – there’s no way you can actually describe it. Fortunately, I’ve never had to go through anything like it, but it must be devastating. It’s all their worst nightmares – all their worst fears rolled into one. It’s hard to imagine what that must do to them.

Do they get some positives from the doctor that the neuroblastoma is potentially treatable?
The doctors do say there is hope in this case and Tyrone immediately takes that on board and tries to be positive for Fiz so he can support her. He takes the positives on board but I think it’s more of a case of showing that to Fiz, even though deep down he’s hurting as well.

That’s the thing, even though they’re hurting all the way through it, they’ve got two young kids to care for so they have to try and remain uplifted for them. Tyrone definitely takes on the positives on hearing what can happen with the treatment for neuroblastoma. He has to for his family.

What makes Tyrone book the trip to Lapland? Is he excited and does he think Fiz will be pleased?
Once he gets the full diagnosis and realises it could be so serious he just wants to make the most of whatever time he’s got now. He wants to give them the best Halloween, the best Bonfire Night and of course the best Christmas. Hope’s face just lights up when he mentions Lapland and he just can’t say no, she’s his little girl. So he just goes ahead on a whim and books it.

Does he think that Fiz is going to be pleased or is he just getting a bit carried away?
He’s just so caught up in it and it’s a lovely quality, that in his mind he just wants the best, so thoughts about whether they can afford it go out of the window. Tyrone’s a real wears-his-heart-on-his-sleeve kind of a guy and he just goes out and books it thinking this is what she’ll love.

So how does Tyrone feel when Fiz tells him about her unpaid leave – is he worried?
No, I think any money worries definitely come secondary to what’s best for Hope. And Tyrone knows that the best person to care for Hope is her mum – so he just thinks they’ll make do.

How does Fiz react when he tells her about the trip? Is she worried about what it will cost?
Fiz is concerned, but then I think the concerns about the money are fuelled by her fear. Not just the fear of the money but the fear of everything and it all just builds up. It’s all driven by the fear of what could happen to her child because it must be terrifying.

How do you think Tyrone and Fiz are going to cope in the coming months? Will it put a strain on their relationship?
Yeah it definitely puts a strain on their relationship because it’s something that’s always there. It’s on their mind every time they wake up, every time they go to sleep. It must be constantly on their minds and that will affect their day-to-day lives. Every conversation, everything they do with their kids. So there are times when it will be fractious, but it will also draw them together and hopefully make them stronger.

Do you think the fact that Hope isn’t Tyrone’s biological child will come into it at all when times are tough?
It definitely doesn’t come into it for Tyrone because he very much sees himself as Hope’s father. There is a moment when Fiz mentions it but she immediately regrets it. It’s just the emotion and the fear flooding in making her say things that she doesn’t mean. Tyrone quickly realises that. There will be moments when it separates them, but moments when it brings them together closer as a family.

How has the response been on social media since the episodes started going out?
We’ve had so many tweets and so many messages from charities saying thank you. I really wasn’t expecting it at all. When I got the storyline and started to read the scripts I realised what a tough thing it is to read and portray, especially as I’ve never been through it.

I wondered how people who have been in that situation would associate with us playing it as a story, but actually the response has been brilliant. Lots and lots of charities who work with children suffering from neuroblastoma getting in touch to say thank you to Corrie for highlighting this situation, as the more people who know about it, the more chance that parents might pick up on it sooner. So the response has been really positive and I’m really happy about that.

I think people are intelligent enough to realise that it does go on in some people’s lives and therefore it needs to be shown. There are some really nice, warm moments too in this story and, in the end, it does tie them together as a family. 

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.

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