Coronation Street’s Carla Connor turned cougar when she set her sights on callow youth Daniel Osbourne, and next week their age-gap romance is exposed to the shocked residents of Weatherfield.
Predictably, Peter Barlow is not impressed his brother is involved with his ex-wife and as the pair flaunt their fling in the Rovers the atmosphere is tense – until Carla suddenly collapses and the truth about her life-threatening kidney failure is revealed.
We caught up with Rob Mallard, who plays Daniel, to discuss whether there’s any future for his character’s controversial coupling, considering Carla neglected to mention she urgently needs an organ transplant or she could be dead soon…
Is Daniel flattered by Carla’s attentions?
She’s Carla Connor, she has a certain magnetism! And she’s a woman of a certain age who’s shown an interest in him – Daniel is Oedipus and has the whole thing going on with older women because of his issues with his mum abandoning him as a child. He seeks approval and craves the attention.
Does Daniel feel he’s missed another chance with Sinead because he’s with Carla?
He’s gutted because he’s pined over Sinead for a year now and lied about his feelings for the good of everyone else. I think after feeling a bit spurned by Sinead he went elsewhere, but when him and Carla go public he panics. It may be cred for Daniel he’s bagged Carla, but he never expected Sinead to find out.
How does Peter react to Carla being with Daniel?
Carla and Peter are two sides of the same person in a way, so Peter’s not happy as she knows what she’s like. He feels this sense of ownership over her, especially due to her vulnerability. I’ll be interested to see what happens between Peter and Daniel next because there are codes between men and brothers about not trying to kill your dad and not sleeping with the other’s ex, and Daniel’s done both!
Considering the level of disapproval, do Daniel and Carla continue their fling because they genuinely care for each other, or just to annoy people?
Daniel’s digging his heels in, because people have told him he shouldn’t be doing this he’s just going to keep doing it. There’s a lot that’s self-punishing with the character, he’s never happier than when he’s got something to feel sorry for himself about, when he’s the victim. He thrives on things going wrong.
How does Carla see it?
I think she’s the cat with the mouse, from her perspective he’s a play thing. When Peter points out she’s using him, Daniel knows it but doesn’t want Peter to be right. Carla and Daniel then decide it’s in for a penny, in for a pound – as long as he know she’s using him then she’s not, he’s complicit.
How does Daniel feel when Carla collapses and it’s revealed that she’s seriously ill?
It comes completely from leftfield, he had no idea she was ill. Again it’s another woman who’s pulled the wool over his eyes and hidden something from him and he’s been completely unaware of it. For someone who is so sharp in many ways he can be amazingly dense…
Do you think Sinead is the love of his life?
I really want to say yes because everyone is rooting for them, but I think Ken’s prophecy is right and time will show the differences between Daniel and Sinead. Maybe they’re not as perfectly suited as they think and really what’s pulling them together is the challenge of actually getting back together. If they’re not the love of each other’s lives then they’ve wasted so much time. They could be a repeat of Ken and Deirdre.