Coronation Street’s Seb Franklin (Harry Visinon) is loved up with girlfriend Emma Brooker (Alexandra Mardell) and the pair are celebrating moving in together, but the surprise return of his ex Alina Pop (Ruxandra Porojnicu) throws a spanner in the works.
The former salon worker, who Seb saved from a human trafficking ring in one of Corrie‘s most hard-hitting storylines of 2019, is back on the cobbles on Monday 10th February keen to pick up where they left off – only to discover her ex has moved on…
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“Alina went back to Romania to see her family and take time for herself after what happened, but her love for Seb won’t leave her,” reveals Porojnicu, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com. “She came back for Seb but now he’s with Emma, so Alina decides to step back.
“She’s not the kind of person to come between a couple. Alina believes Seb now loves Emma, they are happy together and Emma is a nice person and she doesn’t want to hurt her.”
When it looks like Alina may be working back on the street as she goes for a job at Underworld, she reunites with Seb – just as mates – and casually shares she’s looking for a place to live.
The long-haired lothario offers his old flame the box room at his and Emma’s flat: surely this will make for some awkward moments with Alina still holding a torch for Seb?
“She definitely still has feelings for him and it’s going to be an awkward situation them all living together. She has to really sit down and think about whether it’s a good idea! Alina doesn’t want anyone to get hurt though, and wouldn’t not want her happiness to be built on Emma’s misery.”
Seb was Alina’s hero when he helped expose the modern slavery ring that imprisoned Ms Pop under the guise of working at a beauty salon that was a front for the criminal network.
“That experience made Alina more mature,” reflects Porojnicu. “She sees life differently now and it’s something that will stay with her for the rest of her life in one way or another. There are some bad memories coming back to the UK and a bit of fear, but Alina is a story person and wants to put herself together and move on.
“Filming that storyline was emotionally draining,” continues the actress. “It really touched me because it’s very close to home, I know so many people who are immigrants who could have gone through a situation like this. It was very challenging.”
As to whether Corrie will be revisiting that chapter of Alina’s life, Porojnicu says it’s possible: “It’s definitely an open door to go back to the storyline. The traffickers are in prison for now, so they can always get out…”
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