It’s no surprise to learn Coronation Street’s Steve McDonald and Tracy Barlow’s engagement hits the rocks next week – the couple are cursed with their previous attempt at tying the knot being spectacularly short-lived, not to mention the countless failed marriages between them. This time round, the groom-to-be’s wandering eye causes problems as he grows closer to Seb’s troubled mum, Abi Franklin.
The ex-addict is trying to make a fresh start on the street hoping to convince social services she’s straightened herself out enough to regain custody of her twins, and she’s established herself in the community with a job at the garage and developed a surprising friendship with Tracy. But her attraction to Steve is deepening, and next week the pair struggle to fight their growing chemistry which leads to a drunken kiss…
We caught up with Sally Carman, whop lays the mouthy mechanic, to discuss whether Abi could wreck Weatherfield’s upcoming wedding of the year…
Does Abi see Tracy as a friend?
There’s a definite spark, Abi recognises a kindred spirit and Tracy actually takes Abi seriously whereas no one else does. Tracy has been open and acknowledges her as a mate and Abi has never had that so it’s quite nice for her.
How does Abi feel when she overhears Beth and Steve saying her kids are better off in care?
Abi is on a high having been asked to organise Tracy’s hen party, but she has a fragile ego and to hear them talking about her like this is a real kick in the stomach. Her being a mum is her massive sore point because she knows better than anyone that she has let those kids down.
What kind of revenge does Abi get on Steve? She is angry with Steve because she is hurt, and as they discuss the hen do she realises it would be great to embarrass him and make him do a dance in front of everyone knowing ho much he’d hate it! Abi does it to get her own back but it’s not malicious, there’s no harm in it. She has put up a tough barrier over the years through the mistakes she’s made but she is a good person.
How does the home visit from social services go next week?
Abi tries hard to make it perfect for the little ones because it is their birthdays, so she tries to bake a cake and sort out some presents but she can’t do it all because she has to work. Ultimately she ends up letting the twins down and she just unravels. Abi doesn’t trust herself so she desperately wants to get it right that it all comes crashing down around her ears. She hits rock bottom. I think she just needs the right support and have people around her with her best interests at heart, then she’d be a superb mother.
What happens when Steve finds her at the tram station, drunk and morose? Steve finds her absolutely heartbroken and he recognises how she feels because he has lost a child. This is something that clicks with Abi and as they talk she sees him properly for the first time. There is an instant bond, he makes her feel like a human being who has just messed up a little bit and she reaches forward and kisses him. He doesn’t expect it but I don’t think he altogether hates it either…
What is going through Abi’s mind when they kiss?
She just feels like she is understood, that they have made a real connection and it’s one of those instant, weird things that happens now and again. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t so fragile and had a drink but she lets her emotions take over…
Does she feel guilty about hurting Tracy?
Horrendously guilty, yes, because she likes Tracy and she is a good person. Abi is not one to do another woman over either, that’s not her bag. If she’s got it in for anyone it’s men, not women. She does appreciate Tracy’s friendship so she feels dreadful.
What makes Steve and Abi’s friendship work?
It’s a similar energy – they both have pasts, they have a similar sense of humour and similar personalities. It’s the kind of relationship that could either work brilliantly, or result in fireworks!