Sharif will be left fearing that his infidelity secret will be exposed next week on Coronation Street when a ruthless Alya turns the screw.
With Alya in need of £14,000 to bulk produce her lingerie designs, she threatens to expose Sharif and Sonia’s affair if her grandad doesn’t stump up the cash.
With Sharif also having promised to set his mistress up in one of Phelan’s flats, he’s soon feeling the financial squeeze. So can he come up with the funds to appease both women? And to what lengths will Alya go to get what she wants? Here’s Sair Khan with her take on the bombshell set to rock the Nazir clan…
How does Ayla feel when she finds out about Sharif’s affair, has she lost all her respect for him?
She’s completely dumbfounded. She had suspicions that something was going on between him and Sonia but she never thought she was going to be proved right. Alya’s always looked up to her grandparents and held them in such high regard, so this causes her to lose all respect for Sharif. Initially she doesn’t find out the duration of the affair, she thinks it was a one-time thing years ago. So, for her to have such a strong reaction without knowing the full truth says something about how disturbed she is by it all.
Is she tempted to tell Yasmeen?
The only thing that’s stopping her from telling Yasmeen the truth is that Sharif plays it down so much and tells her it happened a long time ago and he has massive regrets. She wants to tell Yasmeen the truth but she doesn’t know what good it’s going to do. She’s scared of breaking up the family – she doesn’t want to be the one who has to tear the family apart.
What’s her motivation for blackmailing Sharif? And what do you make of this ruthless side of Alya?
There are a few aspects to the blackmail – one is that she’s furious with Sharif, he’s got the cash at his disposal because he’s about to buy Sonia a flat, but yet he won’t invest in her. Also, she wants to punish him – she doesn’t want him to have his cake and eat it. Alya’s trying to make the best of a bad situation for herself. Her main motivation isn’t to get herself ahead though – it’s to punish Sharif, so it’s not as selfish as it seems.
Why does Alya need the money she asks him for?
Alya’s trying to set up a new business with Aidan, running alongside Underworld. Last year, she made some bespoke basques with Sinead and when Aidan finds the designs he thinks he has clients who’d be interested. But they realise they’re going to need some new machinery to recreate the embroidery on the designs, so she needs the money to buy this expensive machine. She wants to become 50/50 business partners with Aidan on this side strand of the factory. She wants a bit more power.
Alya seems to be turning into a hard-nosed businesswoman – she even tells Sinead she’s no longer required. Is Alya very ambitious?
Yes! When she came onto the street, she had grand plans to start her own business, so that’s always been her goal. But she’s had so many setbacks in her personal life that it’s been really difficult for her to achieve her dream. When she blamed Carla for her dad Kal’s death, that really set her back in the factory, so she’s been doing her best to get back up the ladder ever since. And when this opportunity arises she’s determined to make the most of it.
Everything else is falling to pieces around her after the discovery of Sharif’s affair and it’s only her work, her drive and her ambition that are holding her together at the moment. In terms of Sinead, it’s nothing personal, it’s just that she knows to focus on the business and make any money out of it. She can’t have any spare parts and Sinead’s collateral damage – sorry!
Are you enjoying playing this edgier side of her? Would you like her to go a bit darker?
Definitely. Reflecting on everything that’s happened to her over the last few years, I don’t think you would just be bright and bubbly. She’s been orphaned, lost what she thought was the love of her life through a stupid mistake which nearly ripped her family apart, and now she’s realised she’s on her own. She’s got to look out for herself.
Is she worried that Yasmeen will find out about her involvement, that she knew about the affair and blackmailed Sharif?
She is really worried about Yasmeen finding out – she makes the decision not to tell Yasmeen because she thinks it was only a one off and that maybe they can bury it as it happened so long ago.
How did you all react as a group when you learned about Sharif’s affair twist?
We all reacted very positively because, as a family, it gives us all so much to play out. It sticks us bang in the middle of all the conflict. It was set up so perfectly after seeing Sharif’s strong reaction towards Alya when he found out about her fling with Jason – now we find out he’s had an affair, the hypocrisy of the situation is great to play.
What is your dream storyline for Ayla? Underworld’s new boss, perhaps?
My dream for Alya wouldn’t be to own Underworld, but to own her own business on the street that would rival Underworld and be better. I’d like to see her become a bit of a business mogul – she’s got dreams that are bigger than just knicker factories.
Is it about time she found a new man?
It’s absolutely time that Alya found a new man. Gary’s moved on and she’s genuinely happy for him, she’s put to bed what happened even though she’ll always love him and it’s great to see him looking to the future. So she wants the same for herself. She needs someone to test her, so we can see a different side to her. I think she needs an older man, who’s strong, who’s got their life sorted and who’s got focus and drive like she has.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
And visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.