The Platt family looks set to have a Christmas Day meal from hell this year after Nick’s rages get the better of him. After wife Leanne (Jane Danson) playfully teases him over a cracker joke, Nick flies into a temper and slaps her hard across the face. In the aftermath, the pair put on a united front, but will Leanne be able to feel safe around her husband? And can Nick ever fully recover from the car crash that has left him prone to such uncontrollable bursts of temper? Actor Ben Price reveals what’s in store…
Up until Christmas Day, do you think that Nick’s condition had been improving?
Outwardly, it appears that he has. But inwardly he’s just been better at managing it. I don’t think his condition has improved that much – he’s just recognising when he needs to walk away, calm down and not say anything. He’s better at doing that.
So how is he coping with the atmosphere at the family home?
It’s very difficult because it’s too crowded and he feels like he’s become a kid again. As a grown man that’s quite hard – Leanne and his mum are now his carers and he feels like a child. It’s awful for Nick. He’s a complete control freak. It’s horrible for him when he has no control.
Does he not regret asking Gail to choose between him and David?
I don’t think he does. He might regret that he put his mum in a difficult situation but he hates David and, at the time, he didn’t want him anywhere near him.
What makes him fly into such a rage with Leanne that he slaps her face?
It’s been a very stressful two days for Nick. On Christmas Day, there’s lots of noise at the meal table and people keep knocking glasses over. It’s too much for him and his frustration just boils over. His anger comes out and Leanne gets the brunt of it. Beforehand, it looks like he’s fine but he’s not. He’s head’s all over the place – he has a headache and it’s just too much. Leanne says the wrong thing at the wrong time.
And what’s Leanne’s reaction?
It’s awful for her. At that point, something dies in their relationship. They’ve lost that trust and he’s done the worst thing he can imagine. She’s shocked, upset and disappointed and Nick realises at this point that they’re not going to be fine.
How does the family react when he hits Leanne?
They don’t like it at all. They’re shocked but they know he has this huge problem and it’s to do with his injury, but it’s also to do with him.
How does he feel afterwards?
He doesn’t know what he’s become. Who he is now? He knows what he should be, what he was, but he doesn’t know who he is now. He looks pretty much the same but he’s not. Nothing is right in his life.
Why does he tell Norris of all people that he slapped Leanne?
Norris notices her black eye and Leanne tries to cover, but Nick doesn’t want that. Nick is one for wanting to face things and this is part of his accident. He has something to face now – this is what he’s done, who he is. He’s taking some control back.
Is he concerned he’ll hurt her again?
Absolutely. He can’t control it – it’s a very fine line for him. He can’t trust himself and he knows Leanne can’t trust him anymore. He’s not the man she fell in love with.
Is he worried that Leanne will leave him for good?
I don’t think he is anymore. Part of him thinks she probably should leave him. They’ve been through the motions of trying to save their marriage, but when someone is fundamentally not the same person, it’s extremely hard.
How hopeful is he that his training sessions with Kal will help?
At first he’s not that hopeful and then he just needs something to hold on to. He needs something to feel a bit more vital again, a bit more normal. That’s what Kal does. He’s another man and Nick doesn’t really have many male friends on the street. He hates Peter, he hates his brother and there are not many guys around that he can relate to. Kal’s physical and quick so he keeps Nick on his toes a bit. He’s now quite hopeful it could go somewhere.
Can he ever imagine being normal again?
He thought he could but now he realises this could be it. This is who he is now and he might be like this for months, years, forever.
What do you think 2014 will hold for the Platts?
Maybe we’ll see what happens with David and Nick. I hope we start to see what happens with the relationship between Leanne and Nick and how they work together. I’m hoping it’s as big as 2013 because it’s been momentous for the Platts this year. This could just be the beginning.
And how will you be spending Christmas?
We have a very traditional Christmas. We open presents in the morning, eat turkey for dinner, pull crackers, have the family round. We just have a very normal and lovely Christmas with the kids.