Coronation Street’s Peter Barlow finally discovers Billy Mayhew’s shocking secret next week when he learns the local vicar was responsible for the death of Peter’s twin sister Susan 16 years ago.
As Billy appears in court defending his recent assault on Peter brought on by an altercation over Mr Barlow’s son Simon giving Billy’s soon-to-be-adopted daughter Summer Spellman drugs, the Rovers landlord puts their disagreement to bed and says in his impact statement Billy has suffered enough and doesn’t deserve prison.
But when the men later intervene in a fight outside court, Billy is stabbed and starts to bleed profusely. Feeling he is losing consciousness as he waits for an ambulance, the guilt-ridden clergyman confesses to Peter he killed Susan during a botched robbery in 2001 and deserves to die…
We caught up with Chris Gascoyne to discuss Peter’s reaction to the news – and what it means for the Barlows going forward.
How does Peter immediately react to what Billy tells him?
Peter is in shock, he can’t take in what he’s just heard. There’s some big, dramatic stuff with him and Billy and then later, he starts to formulate some sort of mad, misguided revenge plot.
Does Peter tell Ken and Adam?
You’ll have to wait and see. There’s another big strand in store for the Barlows, it’s huge. It certainly brings up massive family issues with Ken and Peter. It’s something he feels he can’t even tell his partner, Toyah. You’ll realise why soon enough!
Does Peter feel more betrayed because he’s been helping Billy?
Yeah, that makes it worse. Peter will become very tortured. I’ve struggled with the storyline a bit, but in a good way. It’s very well written but I found it hard to place it with the fact Peter’s been quite happy, we’ve almost gone back again.
Have you enjoyed the calmer side of Peter Barlow?
Yes, it’s been dead easy! I have enjoyed the fact he’s not been stressing about everything. But it’s one extreme to the other now, what happens next is as bad as it gets for him. We are going to see the darkest part of the character – I don’t think I’ve ever gone this far with Peter.
How do you reconcile this side of him in your head?
You just have to roll with it, certainly on this show. You can be doing one thing one week and the next thing you’re doing something completely contradictory, but things roll on so quick in a soap. Generally I get a warm reception whatever Peter does, though. I think the audience really likes him and as I’ve got older in the show, they’ve come to be more accepting of him.
Were you surprised when you heard Corrie planned to revisit Susan’s death?
I was because it was so long ago. I like it because you’re playing something you remember happening so it’s easier for an actor to connect with it. I think it’s worked out really well and am enjoying the storyline.
You’ve left a few times in the past, are you here for the foreseeable future or can you see yourself leaving again?
I can, yes, but I can’t think ahead too much. If I think I’ll go again in five years I’ll be getting old by then! At the moment I’m loving it.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
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