Scheming Tracy Barlow will plot to become landlady of the Rovers Return – and will rope secret lover Tony Stewart into her plan to buy the Weatherfield pub.
“Getting the Rovers would be the ultimate success for Tracy,” says actress Kate Ford. “And she never does things by halves. To win the Rovers over the McDonalds is all she can see right now and to be landlady would mean that she could show everyone on the Street what she’s really made of.”
With typical Tracy canniness, she decides to embroil Tony into her scheme at exactly the time when he’s starting to feel emasculated in his relationship with Liz. As Tony is asked to sort out the plumbing in the ladies’ loos, he admits to Tracy that he wants more from life.
Says Ford: “Tracy starts to see how Tony is tiring of Liz. And the more Liz starts walking all over him. the more he will be inclined to help Tracy get what she wants. Essentially Liz is unwittingly pushing Tony more towards Tracy.
“Tracy times it right – she’s not stupid and she knows she needs to ask him when he’s at his weakest and would agree to anything. They’ve enjoyed a night together and that’s when she announces that she thinks they should get their own pub.”
And what’s his reaction to her suggestion? “He agrees but tells her that he will have to dump Liz in his own time. He feels under pressure and I think there’s a sense of him biding his time too so he can be sure he’s making the right decision.
“When Tracy then tells him that she wants the Rovers, he’s a bit taken aback. I don’t think he’s expecting that. It comes as a bolt out of the blue.”
Viewers will then see Tracy reminding Tony that although Liz and Steve each have a half share of the pub, Steve owes him big time following his recent help with an unpaid tax bill. Backed into a corner, Tony lies to Liz and claims he’s made a bad investment and that a loan shark wants his money back.
“Liz falls for his lies,” continues Ford. “She has no reason to think he’s lying as he’s helped them out with money in the past. And she knows that he’s never really short of cash as he’s got fingers in all these different pies – that’s the kind of guy he is.”
And pretty soon, Liz is playing right into Tony and Tracy’s hands when she suggests that Steve stands down as part-owner of the pub. “Yes, Liz suggests to Tony that Steve sell his half of the Rovers, so he can repay the money he owes Tony from that tax bill.
“I think Liz suggests it because she feels as though they owe Tony for helping them out of a hole. She has no suspicion whatsoever of him being up to no good, nor does she know about Tracy being behind it all.”
So it does seem as though we could soon be living in a world where toxic Tracy will be calling the shots behind the bar of Weatherfield’s most famous boozer. But what kind of landlady would she make? “Oh, she’d be awful,” laughs Ford. “The pub wouldn’t last a week. She’d be so rude to everyone that they’d have no customers left!”
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