A frantic Bethany is to stab Gary in next week’s Coronation Street when he and Sarah try to stop the vulnerable teen from seeing sinister Nathan.
Sarah will stage an intervention after calling round to Nathan’s flat and finding her daughter scantily clad and plied with alcohol.
With Nathan out, Sarah wastes no time in phoning Gary so the two of them can take Bethany home to Number Eight. But when Bethany comes round, she goes ballistic, not able to see that her mum is looking out for her welfare.
In the midst of a fierce showdown, Bethany ends up attacking Gary – but how serious is the injury? Here, actress Tina O’Brien – who plays the beleaguered Sarah – reveals what’s in store:
Prior to Sarah finding Bethany, how is she coping with the fact her daughter is engaged and so heavily involved with Nathan? Sarah is really struggling with this relationship. She’s tried to deal with it and given Bethany space and tried not to put pressure on it, but every instinct she has is screaming that there is something not right about the relationship. Bethany has been missing college and has ostracised herself from her family, but Sarah can’t do anything about it.
Does Sarah still think that, if she ‘supports’ her daughter, it’ll all work itself out? She’s hoping that if she doesn’t criticise the relationship then it will eventually burn itself out and Bethany will come to her own decision to end it. She’s frightened that if she continually judges Nathan then she will simply push Bethany closer to him.
Talk us through the horrifying moment that Sarah finds Bethany at Nathan’s flat, scantily clad and passed out on the sofa… It’s early evening and when Sarah first arrives Bethany is clearly drunk and dressed provocatively. The door to the flat is open so Sarah has let herself in. She demands to know why Bethany is so drunk and, as they argue, Bethany passes out on the sofa. Sarah can’t get any response from her and is in a real panic.
Does she realise the true extent of what has been going on? No, she has no idea. It’s not something that would cross her mind. Sarah just feels that Bethany has found herself mixing with much older people and is therefore trying to fit in with those people. She would be horrified and devastated if she knew what was going on.
How does she manage to get Bethany home? She’s really stressing out because she’s seen a text from Nathan saying he’s on his way back to the flat. So she rings Gary and asks him to hurry up and come to the flat to help her get Bethany home as she can’t move her on her own.
What happens when Bethany wakes up and reacts violently? Sarah and Gary manage to get her home and she wakes up on the sofa and panics when she realises where she is and that she doesn’t have her phone. She tries to make a run for it but Gary blocks her way, she starts throwing things and stabs Gary in the arm. It’s terrifying and upsetting for Sarah to see her daughter in this state and Sarah does start to wonder if Bethany is, in fact, scared of Nathan.
If Bethany were to escape at this point, what would it do to Sarah to lose her daughter again? I think that having forcibly removed Bethany against her will, Sarah is concerned that if she escapes she will never see her again. She’s terrified that she has overstepped the mark in Bethany’s eyes.
Does Sarah blame herself for letting things get this far? She does feel she’s failed as a mother, but this is not a cut-and-dried situation that is cut and dried. As a mother, though, you feel your job is the protect your child and she feels she has failed in that respect.
Is Sarah scared of Nathan after seeing Bethany like this? She’s not scared for her own safety, but she is scared about what’s going to happen to Bethany as she’s clearly under his spell.
What is the next best course of action that Sarah can take? I think probably tough love now at this stage – she should try and keep her under lock and key, but she has sort of tried that. And now that has gone horribly wrong, she’s at a total loss.
Would you like Sarah to ultimately rescue her daughter and bring Nathan down? Yes and I think that is what every single viewer would like too. But Sarah has to be careful – she knows she doesn’t like Nathan but she has no idea just how dangerous he really is.
What reaction have you had from viewers watching the story? The reaction has been incredible and has really opened people’s eyes to the dangers that are out there. Some people are finding it hard to watch, but if it gets parents talking to their kids about this sort of thing then that can only be a good thing.
Having grown up on Corrie yourself, how do you think Lucy Fallon has coped with her first major story? She’s doing brilliantly – it’s a big issue to take on and she’s had some tough scenes to record. But she has done an amazing job. Growing up on Corrie, I had some tough storylines to work on and it is important to have people around you supporting you and helping you every step of the way. And I know Lucy feels protected in the same way that I did.
Will Sarah and Bethany ever have the same relationship again after this, do you think? It really does depend on the outcome. Bethany is going to end up hating her mother for ruining her life or being hugely grateful to her for rescuing her. Either way, it’s going to test their relationship to the hilt.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.