Imran is not a love rat, says Charlie de Melo despite Coronation Street lawyer juggling Leanne and Toyah (Spoilers)

"There is not that mean-spirited, nastiness and menace to what he is doing. He's stumbled into this situation"

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Libidinous lawyer Imran will find himself in the middle of a Coronation Street love triangle when he ends up sleeping with Leanne and Toyah in the same week. When the suave solicitor is offered the chance of having a “no-strings” relationship with both women, he jumps at the chance. But thanks to some classic miscommunication, neither Battersby sister realises that they’re each getting involved with the same fella! Adam is quick to warn his legal eagle buddy that he’s headed for disaster, but what does actor Charlie de Melo make of the predicament his character has got himself into? We caught up with the Corrie star to find out:

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So, how has Imran got himself in to this situation?
He’s not set out to have his cake and eat it, but at the same time that is how things have happened. But it’s all miscommunication – Imran assumes they are both OK with it, which is naive to the point of stupidity. But he thinks he’s hit the jackpot.

Is there any point where he questions that the situation may be too good to be true?
There is certainly a half-hearted attempt on his side to try to establish some clarity between Leanne, Toyah and himself. But both Leanne and Toyah make it clear that they are not interested in anything serious and that they don’t want each other to know. So at that point he feels like he’s not going to push! In his head he knows something might not be quite right, but he’s not thinking with his conscious brain.

Prior to this, we know Imran has just divorced his wife. What is it about Leanne that catches his eye?
Not ideally, he used Leanne as a distraction to manage his own grief. But as time goes on he realises that was a pig-headed and nasty thing for him to do and he sees her more as the person she is – strong and self-assured. And he starts to grow a real fondness for her. It develops over time and, as the feelings start to develop in his head, that is the point that Toyah comes in and shakes things up.

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Why does Toyah take a dislike to him at first?
Again, she’s very strong-willed and very willing to hold her ground, certainly when it comes to Imran anyway; she’s quite happy to spar with him. They have a slight antagonism with one another from the very beginning which develops in to something more physical and therefore more complicated.

Does Imran feel guilty about what happens with Toyah because he has been involved with Leanne first?
He does and he is not a love-rat – that was something I was keen to avoid because there is not that mean-spirited, nastiness and menace to what he is doing. He’s stumbled into this situation as a result of being intentionally naive and is in a position where he just can’t believe his luck. But at the same time, that naivety and behaviour can still be hurtful to other people.

In your opinion, who is Imran more suited to?
Well, this is a difficult question for him as well as me! He would be very lucky to end up with either given his behaviour. However there is something very nice about Toyah’s unwillingness to take his nonsense – she has called him out on his bravado from the beginning and that is potentially something he can do with. He needs taking down a peg or two.

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How do you think Imran will take it if he gets found out?
It’s been really fun to play this “she-said-he-said” farcical comedy after a dark grieving period for Imran. If and when he gets found out it will be rough because the whole thing has been fulfilling in its own way for him because he’s been able to ignore how much he is hurting as far as his family is concerned.

Do you think Imran should be scared of the Battersby sisters?
Everyone should be – they are formidable. They aren’t scared to throw down and they are very, very protective of one another. Imran has wronged both of them, so they are scary enemies to make. But they also have big hearts between them, so hopefully they will go easy on Imran for his sake!

What do you think the viewers will make of this storyline?
It’s light-hearted, but having said that, the characters of Leanne and Toyah are so beloved that anyone who wrongs them is probably going to get a fair amount of grief. Personally and selfishly, I hope people can see where he is coming from, even though it’s not right!

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