Coronation Street killer Gary Windass (Mikey North) finally unburdens himself of the big secret that he is responsible for the death of Rana Habeeb when he makes a sensational confession to his victim’s brother Imran Habeeb (Charlie de Melo) on Friday 19th July – is it all over for the beleaguered builder, who also murdered and buried loan shark Rick Neelan to protect his crime?
Prior to this the net is closing in on the hot-headed ex-soldier when Rick’s teenage daughter Kelly Neelan (Millie Gibson) comes looking for her dad again on Monday 15th July, forcing Gary to spin the lie her father was a gangster and has done a runner after being busted by the cops.
Meanwhile, ex-girlfriend Sarah Platt (Tina O’Brien) grows increasingly suspicious her flame-haired old flame is hiding something when he is evasive about a voicemail he left on her phone, which viewers know contains the full confession about the factory.
Discovering Carla Connor believes Gary sneaked into hospital while she recovered from her breakdown and took back Sarah’s phone, which Carla stole in the height of her paranoia, Ms Platt tips off the police who take Mr Windass in for questioning on Wednesday 17th July…
“He’s fuming at this betrayal,” reveals North. “Sarah is the reason why Gary got in such a mess in the first place. He loved her and never meant to hurt her or drag her into this, so when he knows she shopped him it’s another nail in the coffin as to why Gary is going to the dark side.
“Now he’s lost Sarah he’s got nothing left to lose, and that makes him quite dangerous.”
Gary is released pending further enquiries and returns to the street with riled-up residents aware he is now a suspect in the sabotage. At first protesting his innocence, the wild Windass eventually rocks up at the solicitors’ office and tells Imran his sister’s death is his fault.
“Gary has got a plan worked out as to how he can get out of this for now,” continues North, “but once he’s actually in front of Imran it all gets a bit too much and he levels with him more than he intended to…”
Does this mean Gary Windass is being written out?
Soap villains always have a shelf life and with the truth seemingly out, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was the beginning of the end for Gary – not so, says the actor.
“Our producer Iain MacLeod says this is by no means an exit storyline. Obviously producers come and go, but Iain has specified this is not planned as Gary’s exit and they want to keep him as a long-term villain, more of an anti-hero than in the Pat Phelan mold.
“Saying that he has become more calculated because he’s had to, although he hasn’t killed in cold blood so far. With the factory roof he wasn’t intending to kill, it was financial desperation. Then Rick was trying to kill him so he defended himself. That increasingly calculated side to Gary will come out.
“There are storylines coming up in the year and beyond that test him further and put him in situations where he must decide whether to kill again.”
Despite all this, North is hopeful his alter ego won’t end up the most hated man on TV, as the aforementioned Pat Phelan was at the height of his serial killing spree. “As he’s not set out to murder anyone I think he can just about be redeemed,” he ponders. “But he is getting deeper and deeper, maybe to the point of no return. He has some big decisions to make in the near future that will decide which path he goes down – I know there are things planned well into next year…”