David Platt will continue to self destruct in next week’s Coronation Street when he sleeps with salon apprentice Emma – and then asks her to move in!
Beleaguered David – who has struggled to open up about his rape by garage mechanic Josh – will make the impulsive move of taking Emma to bed, despite her having been something of an irritation since she started work at Audrey’s.
“David doesn’t want her at the salon – she never shuts up, she’s young, she talks all the time. But one day, he just looks at her, decides to make a play for her and takes her home to bed,” explains actor Jack P Shepherd.
And is he doing so in order to prove something to himself? “Yes, absolutely. And to Josh too. David is trying to prove that he’s the real man and that he can pull this young girl, which means that Josh is wrong about him.”
Scenes to be shown on Monday 23 April will see David close the salon early and invite Emma to Number Eight for a beer. But when a concerned Maria calls round later, she’s shocked to find Emma and David in a state of undress.
But worse is to come when David hands Emma a set of keys, only for Bethany to realise that the newcomer was in the year above her at school. So what are David’s reasons for getting Emma to move in so quickly?
“It’s because she’s a distraction,” adds Shepherd. “She’s like a little toy that distracts him from facing his demons. While she’s there rabbiting on, he can’t get a word in edgeways, so he doesn’t have to have conversations.”
Another unfortunate consequence is that Shona is left devastated by what’s happened, something that the actor thinks is a deliberate intention of David’s:
“He’s doing this to push Shona away a bit more. The kids miss Shona and are trying to see her. But this is David sending a signal that he has a new girlfriend and has moved on.”
So could this be one of the oddest things that David has ever done? “Well, it’s certainly rash, but it’s a direct reaction to what has happened to him.
“He’s a person of extremes. If he’d told someone about the rape, he wouldn’t have reacted like this in a self-destructive way. But that’s the point – he hasn’t spoken to anyone and he should have done.”
So will speaking out be the only thing that can save David at this moment in time? “Yes, he can’t move on until he opens up. But at the moment, he can’t.
“So it’ll be interesting to see what – if anything – will make him talk to someone. Because for Josh to get punished, David has to say it out loud.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s drama on Coronation Street below
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news