Coronation Street: Erica and Dev to be friends with benefits, says Claire King

The pair are set to sleep together in scenes to be shown next week

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Erica and Dev are to finally stop pussy-footing around each other next week when they end up in bed together. But the morning after the night before will see Dev go cool on the idea of a relationship. Here, Claire King reveals that the pair are set to become friends with very definite benefits, but how does Erica really feel about the arrangement?

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So how have Erica’s feelings for Dev changed over the past few months? She wasn’t interested at first, was she?
Erica wasn’t looking for a relationship when she first arrived. She’d been through quite a bad experience with her ex-husband in Spain, I think. But she came back over here and became friends with Dev. She thinks he’s a good egg, he’s got a kind heart and they have fun, but she’s been backing off from a relationship. They’ve got progressively closer but she has resisted his charms. Now everyone around her is telling her it would be a good thing for them to get together.

At what moment does she realise that she fancies him?
There’s a moment between them when Mary has too much to drink and Erica and Dev are helping to get her home, but then Mary falls off the sofa and the moment passes. I think the green-eyed monster really appears when Dev introduces a new potential girlfriend.

Yes, so how does Erica feel when Dev introduces Karen – this date from the golf club?
That’s the real tipping point – it’s when Erica decides to make her move and she has Mary on her side telling Dev not to ignore what’s right under his nose.

Is she nervous when she dresses up and makes her move in the pub? Or is she confident she’s going to get her man?
There’s an element of nervousness to showing Dev how she feels about him – she’s not 25 or even 35 any more and any woman would think there’s still that slight doubt this could go badly wrong. And right in the middle of the Rovers as well!

What’s the atmosphere like between them the following morning?
Dev shakes Erica’s hand the next morning! So she rushes off to the Kabin to buy women’s mags to try to work out why he’d shake her hand rather than kiss her. She’s a bit bemused by it all.

They agree to be friends with benefits, but would Erica like more?
Yes, she would. She would like to claim her benefits more often!

Is Dev holding back on getting into a relationship?
He is, but only because he’s not sure what Erica wants. So he asks her outright and Erica has to be honest.

Do you think they make a good couple?
I think they make a great couple. But that’s because they’ve been friends first.

What did you think when you heard you’d be teaming up with Jimmi Harkishin?
We did work together 30 years ago on something called South of the Border so I knew Jimmi way back then. It’s fantastic to work with him.

Erica gravitates towards Liz for a gossip, but who in the cast do you enjoy a good natter with?
Beverley Callard [Liz] in real life, too. And I love Helen Worth [Gail], she’s a lovely lady, very funny. Sue Cleaver [Eileen] and Patti Clare [Mary] I’m close to now because of the work we’re doing, and Debbie Rush [Anna] too. They’re all strong women playing strong characters, which is what Corrie does so well.

Do people still recognise you from playing previous characters from other programmes, for example Emmerdale?
Yes, but I’m getting people calling me Erica rather than Kim Tate a bit more these days. I’m still getting used to that. Kim was such a big part of my life. I played her on and off for nearly a decade and she was such an icon, such a big character. It was a bit of a double-edged sword because she was so well known that hardly anyone would give me another job for a while!

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

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