Coronation Street: Patti Clare on Mary’s heartbreak – “She’ll bounce back. She’s like the Terminator”

Brendan looks set to dump poor Mary after his wife finds out about their affair


Mary’s fantasies about Brendan are to clash with reality next week when she gets a slap from his wife. Smitten Mary will come face to face with Bridget and have her illusions well and truly shattered when Brendan denies all knowledge of their affair.


So will Mary recover after being so cruelly treated by the man she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with? Actress Patti Clare reveals all about what lies ahead for her character now that she’s been so ill-used…

How does Mary feel about Brendan at this point? Does she really think he will leave his wife?
Absolutely – that has always been the bottom line with Mary. I know she has her fantasies but he’s always told her that she’s just got to be patient because he will leave his wife and they will be together.

He’s fed her all these lies about how they’ll live together and it will be wonderful, so in her mind there’s no problem. It’s just a question of when not if. She’s totally fallen for him and he’s everything to Mary: he’s manly, he’s straight out of a Mills and Boon novel. He’s a clever man, he’s good with words, he’s very attentive and she’s fallen hook, line and sinker.

How does she react to Norris’s digs about his marital status?
She just sees it as jealously. She cannot see it for what it really is, as Norris’s genuine concern. Norris is a very loyal friend – if he’s your friend he’s a friend for life. But Mary can’t see that as she’s in denial and just puts it down to jealousy. 

Can you talk us through what happens when Dev catches them getting jiggy on his sofa? How embarrassed is Mary?
She’s mortified! In fairness to Mary she’s had a very bad day: Brendan was with his wife, she’d been rushing around, she’d missed Asha’s cross-country race, so she’s at a loose end when he pops up out of nowhere and she genuinely things they have the whole afternoon to themselves because Dev is out at the race. So when he comes back unexpectedly it truly is quite a shock on so many levels, especially because he comes back with the kids. It’s not pretty. She’s embarrassed, Dev’s embarrassed, it’s all deeply embarrassing. 

What prompts her to hand in her notice to Dev?
Because she’s absolutely mortified to have been caught in a compromising position in front of the children and in front of Dev. She feels she’s let everybody down and the children will no longer respect her. Actually, the children are brilliant – they say they’re really happy for her to have a boyfriend, but Mary can’t reconcile it in her mind. 

And then we’ll see Mary coming face to face with Brendan’s wife – how does that go?
I think in that moment the bubble is burst. When she first sees the wife, she actually sees it as an opportunity for everything to be out in the open. She’s kind of excited by it because she’s right in the eye of the storm, in the middle of this romantic Mills & Boon novel which has exploded in her face. So she actually thinks, ‘OK let’s put all our cards on the table, let’s tell this poor woman of our love affair’. But, of course, it doesn’t go that way. 

What does Bridget say to her?
We get a slap, she says that Mary’s not the first and she goes even further with some really cruel comments. Mary’s humiliated, mortified – and it all happens in front of her really close friends Dev and Erica in the pub.

What was the slap like to film?
It was actually really exciting. I’m only used to stage fighting where you actually make contact, so I had no idea that in TV land it’s all smoke and mirrors. But we had a brilliant fight arranger with us who taught us how to throw a slap and how to react. 

What advice would you give to Mary about her situation?
I’d say to Mary that she’s had an amazing experience but she’s worth a hell of a lot more. And she’s not a stupid woman – it’s time to put the fantasies to bed and see the world for what it is. But I don’t think you’re ever going to get that from Mary. I think she’ll always live in a world with slightly rose-tinted glasses.  

Do you think she’ll still believe in true love after all of this?
She’s been badly bruised but Mary’s extremely resilient. She’s like the Terminator, perhaps to the point of being foolhardy. But I think she will bounce back, it might take her a while, but the minute another man comes along and shows her attention, she’ll be off again and there’s nothing we can do about that.

Have you enjoyed playing this storyline and doing something a bit different with the character?
Yes, absolutely. Because it’s been possible to show this other side of Mary – she’s not just a fantasist, a wish has come true for her. OK, so it hasn’t worked out, but she has had a bit of romance and affection from a man rather than a fantasy. Also, it’s been an opportunity to show her emotions a lot more, her genuine upset, and to play against the comic side of things in order to show the heartfeltness of Mary.

And have you enjoyed working with Ted Robbins?
It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Ted Robbins. He’s a joy to have around and when you have that chemistry with another actor you can just run with it. It’s been really lovely.

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


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