With his bookish persona, Daniel Osbourne strikes a pose not to dissimilar to his dad Ken in his student days. But when the Barlows run into Daniel reading aloud to his father by his hospital bed in next week’s Coronation Street, it soon becomes apparent that there’s more to Ken’s errant son than meets the eye.
An outsider by nature, it seems that there might well be a mystery at the heart of Daniel’s character. Here, actor Rob Mallard teases the secrets that his character will bring with him to Corrie:
What do the Barlows make of Daniel?
When Daniel arrives, no one’s quite sure who he is until it’s revealed that he’s Ken’s long-lost son.The Barlows are surprised to see Daniel there and are very mistrustful of him. Daniel’s never met Peter and Tracy before and he’s only recently meeting Ken again as an adult, so they don’t have any shared history. Whereas Adam, Peter, Tracy and Ken do. Daniel is very much the outsider.
So how do they get on with each other?
Well, Adam and Daniel don’t get on with each other from the beginning because Adam is quite off-hand and Daniel is so guarded. Daniel has his guard up with everyone, but that’s because he feels he has to. He’s bringing secrets to Weatherfield, so he’s terrified that everything is about to unpick itself.
Why do they clash over the care rota for Ken that Daniel’s drawn up?
Daniel starts organising things straight away and the rest of the Barlows are so under organised that it’s an immediate takeover. Especially for Tracy because it has just been her and Ken for ages. Now she has to deal with three male egos. There is a struggle for power and because Daniel is so organised and that wrong-foots the rest of the family.
Are you excited that the Barlow family is growing?
Yes, I am very excited, but for the exact reasons that everyone else gives. The Barlows are the longest-running soap family and they’ve had some of the best storylines. With the Barlow family growing like this, it’s right back to old-school Coronation Street with drama in the terraces.
So what’s Daniel like as a character and how similar or different to him are you?
Daniel is calculated, he’s a peripheral person, someone who listens. Daniel prefers to sit by the side and assess what’s going on, but he’s like that for a very good reason…He’s very organised. which is nothing like me, I’m not anywhere near as organised as he is.
Do you have any personal favourite Corrie characters or storylines from before you joined?
Yes Bet Lynch was huge when I was young. I remember a scene when a car went into a lake and Bet was saved but put down in a big pile of horse manure. I remember that vividly, we even recorded it on tape, we used to rewind that moment and howl laughing and I must have only been about six. Even though she was a character who was long gone before I was even aware of Coronation Street, Ena Sharples was someone who my grandma always used to talk about, especially hairnet. It is the women, characters like Bet Lynch and Ena Sharples – women with bite.
Which Corrie actors were you most nervous or excited to meet?
I was excited to meet everyone but I was nervous to meet William because he is William Roache – he’s Ken Barlow. I thought I was going to be very shy and too afraid to talk to him but it was nothing like that. He was disarming, straight away.
So what’s it like working with William Roache, Kate Ford and Chris Gascoyne?
Working with Chris is remarkably effortless as he is so down to earth. Kate Ford was the first one I met and she took all my shyness away. She knows some great jokes. which I enjoy. I feel like I’ve settled in, but almost too quickly, in a way. I was saying to William, “You know, I’m worried now because talking to you is so easy and effortless, but in the scene we’re about to film it’s not supposed to be!” Behind the scenes we have all been getting on so well, so we have to make sure that doesn’t transfer onto the Street!
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
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