Jim McDonald has exited Coronation Street in the company of fellow con artist Hannah Gilmore after Liz discovered all about their wicked plan to steal her life savings. With his ex-wife having turned her back on him once again, Jim was left resigned to a future with Hannah, despite having previously stated that he never wanted to see her again.
The pair were last scene driving away from the scene of Steve and Tracy’s ruined wedding, with Hannah telling Jim that she was the only one who cared about what happened to him. “They’ve turned their backs on you again,” Hannah said of Jim’s family, before adding, “I forgive you for what you said.”
As Jim considered the mess he’d made of things once again, Hannah remarked, “Whatever happens, we do it together”, a comment that left viewers having to guess what scam they’d decide to pull next and whether there was any chance of them resurfacing in Weatherfield.
The scene marked the end of Charles Lawson’s current stint on the ITV soap, with the actor having committed to playing the role of Ian Rankin’s detective John Rebus in the play Long Shadows, a production that has attracted headlines this week after Lawson himself fell ill during a performance.
Speaking recently to RadioTimes.com, the actor revealed that his lack of availability necessitated a quicker-than-expected curtailment of his Corrie plotline. Said Lawson:
“For whatever reason, people forgot what I was doing and I think the backroom staff had a difficult time with this particular storyline – they wanted me to come back on a permanent basis, but I was busy and I couldn’t. And I know for a fact that this story had to come to an end quickly.
“Had circumstances been different, this storyline may have been different or extended. But my job is to be an actor. I’m not in a collaborative process with the writer. It’s my job to try to make it believable and that’s what I get paid for. Having said that, I never get a bad script. I may raise my eyebrows at certain things, but its never dull.”
Asked whether he’d like to see Jim return at some point in the future, he added: “Well, I’ve spoken to Iain [MacLeod], who’s our new young producer and he’s a good lad, so he is. I was impressed by him. And for the first time in 30 years of doing this bloody programme, a producer actually asked me what I thought about the future!
“And I said that I thought that Jim has got a lot to offer. And that I want him to come back fit and well. But it’s all down to the writers – if they like what they see, they may very well decide to write for me again next year. If they think it’s rubbish, they probably won’t. That’s how it works!”