Evil Pat Phelan is set to get his comeuppance in a special week of Coronation Street showing across five nights from Monday 28 May in a 9pm slot.
The bad boy builder, responsible for multiple murders, rape, kidnap, perverting the course of justice and who knows what else was exposed as a serial killer in March and seemingly fell to his death after trying to murder wife Eileen during a tussle at a lighthouse.
To the delight of viewers, Pat was revealed to have survived plunging into the sea and has been secretly plotting his nefarious next move from a hideout at a campsite in Wales. But arch-enemy Gary Windass has tracked down his nemesis and brought him back to Weatherfield to take his final revenge, locking him up in the store room at the builder’s yard. As Connor McIntyre, who plays poison Pat, reveals, that turns out to be a very unwise decision on Gary’s part…
“Gary really should have just told the police where Phelan was hiding, but fate has dictated this whole thing to be resolved where it started – on the cobbles, full circle. Gary and his army mate Joe have trapped Phelan, as he has done to other people, and that won’t go down well. They are pushing all the wrong buttons!”
Having kept victim Andy Carver locked in a cellar for months, Phelan knows a thing or two about hostage situations and eyes his opportunity to escape on Tuesday 29 May when young Jack Webster finds him tied up. Convincing the lad to cut him free, Gary and girlfriend Sarah Platt arrive to stop him getting away but it’s too late and by Thursday 31 May the brooding builder has overpowered them and runs to his old home to confront Eileen brandishing a gun.
“Pat is wounded and spiteful so he does something to Eileen that dismantles the idea of his love for her,” continues McIntyre. “He doesn’t make a lie of anything they felt in their relationship in the past because he does love her, but he does say something cruel and it’s quite a moment. The audience will be divided as to whether he ever actually loved Eileen or not, but he wants to hurt her because he is hurt. This is the last stand.”
The blockbuster week climaxes on Friday 1 June with Phelan storming Michelle Connor’s wedding to Robert Preston in the bistro after a gunshot rings at number 11. Pat brings his first casualty with him before taking a hostage and locking them both in the kitchen – Corrie are keeping quiet about who emerges with their life intact, and the ultimate fate of Phelan himself, but McIntyre teases a suitably epic ending.
“All the historical places are revisited from the Phelan storyline as are all his pathologies,” he promises. “It’s really about his grandson, Nicola’s baby, and what Phelan thinks is his legacy. With him being a control freak, if he knows the game is up his focus will go to preserving his legacy, being the narcissist that he is.”
Five years after his first appearance, the writers’ careful development of the chilling character and McIntyre’s compelling performance have created a genuine Corrie legend, with Pat’s calculating crimes and sociopathic presence putting him among the hallowed ranks of other Weatherfield villains. “For Phelan to be mentioned in the same breath as Alan Bradley, Richard Hillman… these are household names and ones that still terrify me!
“We have created something collectively that is going to be around for a while,” he smiles. “It’s a statement of trust from the writers, going from a domestic love situation with Eileen to immediately down the cellar with Andy for example. I am proud of that because you earn it, and they know you can handle it. The reaction to his fake death was heartening to see how invested in the character we are.”
As Phelan takes his final bow, McIntyre reflects on his Corrie experience and looks to the future, which also includes his second love after acting – painting. “In practical terms, my time on Corrie has secured my art studio, The Alamo, for the next few years which means an awful lot. It’s run by my partner, who is also a painter, and we mentor graduates. It’s the largest independent lead studio space in Plymouth, possibly the south west, and we don’t get money from anybody. So my time on Coronation Street has given me a window to other places to talk about these things.
“Friendships and awards as well, recognition by your peers and the industry and the public – there’s probably a very long list of things that Coronation Street has given me.”