Eileen Grimshaw has been completely taken in by conman Pat Phelan. For a moment it seemed as though she might discover the truth but Phelan, who is well versed in worming his way out of things, managed to pull the wool over her eyes again. Next week in Coronation Street, despite a collective ‘NOOOO’ echoing across the nation, they’re due to get married. Oh, Eileen.
However, Phelan is preoccupied with more pressing, villainous matters on the day of the wedding itself. Will he make it in time to say ‘I do’?
Sue Cleaver, the actress who plays Eileen, explains the rush to get married now: “When Eileen saw Phelan in hospital she felt she very nearly lost him so she ‘s really anxious that everything is official and it’s done and dusted. She’s still going through with the wedding because – from her point of view – Phelan hasn’t done anything wrong. His friend has done the dirty on him and left him behind with this carnage. Eileen isn’t going to desert him as well. He has really looked after her more than anyone ever has. He’s the ideal partner.”
Early on in the week, Eileen tells Steve about her secret wedding plans while trying to console him following the death of his newborn son. He’s happy to be distracted with some good news. The next day she confides in Liz, revealing that she’s marrying Pat tomorrow!
Cleaver clarifies why her character is keen to keep the wedding on the down-low: “It’s very quiet because it would be disrespectful to have a big wedding after everyone lost their money. They’ve not told anybody, just the family. Eileen has always said before that she would never be seen walking down the street with any of her boyfriends, let alone down an aisle! It’s a big thing for her. She’s been engaged before but she has never gone through with it.”
On the big day, in scenes to be broadcast on Friday 20 January, an excited Eileen gets ready for her wedding as son tries to Todd wish her well. Cleaver adds: “Jason and Todd have always been very protective of their mum, so Eileen has put Todd’s doubts down to the fact that he has never liked anybody she has gone out with. She thinks he is just going to have to put up with it.” However, Todd conceals his true feelings about Phelan and congratulates his mum on her special day.
Elsewhere, Phelan is up to no good. Having gone to see Andy and discovered that he’s in possession of the incriminating laptop, the pair get involved in a dramatic and violent fight. As Eileen waits for Phelan at the Register Office she begins to get nervous. “Everything always goes wrong for Eileen where relationships are concerned so she starts to worry when she’s waiting for him”, says Cleaver. But seeing as he’s just been battered over the head with a laptop, it remains to be seen whether Phelan will make it down the aisle.
Giving nothing away, Cleaver describes what it was like to be part of a Corrie wedding, saying: “Well, it wasn’t exactly the wedding of the year! It was pretty low-key and nobody was there but it was nice getting the bouquet to take home afterwards.”
Despite his maniacal tendencies, Cleaver thinks that Phelan’s feelings for Eileen are real. “I think he does have genuine feelings for her because he has looked after her. He didn’t need to marry her, there is nothing in it for him now the money has gone. He’s still a psycho but if he did nothing else wrong maybe they could have their happy ending.”
A happy ending? In Coronation Street?! Whether Mr and Mrs Phelan will get their happily ever after remains to be seen, and that’s only if Phelan manages to make it to the wedding. Will he escape from his altercation with Andy in time?
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