Well, there’s plenty more to come. RadioTimes.com, along with other journalists, have had a chat with producer Iain MacLeod who has teased some of what we can expect as we move into the back-half of the year – yes 2020 really is nearing the halfway mark.
Here’s the biggest storylines set to leave us on the edge of our sofas…
1. Yasmeen and Geoff resolution
One of the most hard-hitting storylines that Coronation Street has seen for some time has been the abuse that Yasmeen Nazir (Shelley King) has been suffering at the hands of her evil husband, Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholemew). With the story reaching its darkest point last week and poor Yasmeen now facing jail for the attack that nearly killed him, viewers have been wondering how much more there is to tell of this story. Well, not too much as it’s been confirmed that, filming permitting, the plan is for Geoff to face his comeuppance before 2020 draws to a close.
And according to MacLeod, one thing fans should not expect is any kind of redemption for Geoff with him saying that “Typically, abusers of this type do not get better and I think it would be, possibly, a dangerous message to send that these people change.” With his end in sight, hopefully, that means we can start to see Yasmeen recover from all that he has put her through. She certainly deserves some happiness. As for Geoff, before his time is up, it looks like we will learn more about his past and it’s highly unlikely that Yasmeen is the first person he has done this too. Will his past play a part in his undoing?
2. David and Shona to reunite?
Having not taken the news that his estranged wife has filed for divorce well, upcoming scenes will show David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd) become more reckless as he seeks out the thrill of danger – challenging drug dealers whilst trying to get the same buzz he felt when escaping a mugging. But while we are seeing him at a low right now, there is cause for hope as it seems that happier times are indeed on the way for him. Describing the David and Shona Ramsay (Julia Goulding) relationship as ‘a love story’, MacLeod assured us that he has no plans to separate the pair for good- in fact, there could even be a second wedding on the way (which makes sense given Shona’s amnesia has caused her to forget the first one). “It’s certainly been discussed. That’s the most poignant thing about it,” MacLeod told us, adding that “To Shona, the wedding pictures she has been shown are just two strangers dancing in the bistro.” Teasing a “confetti moment for the audience to punch the air with joy”, it seems that happiness could be on the cards for them both.
3. Happiness for Gemma
Gemma Winter (Dolly Rose Campbell) has been at the centre of a heartfelt postnatal depression storyline since the birth of her quads and whilst upcoming scenes show her take the positive step of attending the support group, there is the worry that things could get worse again. Well, according to MacLeod, a happy ending is very much on the cards for this storyline with Gemma turning a corner in the coming weeks. He told us that not only will she be coming out of all of this a different person, but that she would end up enjoying being a mother- no matter how hectic the household may be.
It turns out that her own mother, Bernie Winter (Jane Hazlegrove) will have a key role in her daughter’s recovery- a redemption of sorts for the unpredictable character. “Bernie will become her saviour in her way. It is her chance to redeem herself,” MacLeod said of what is to come. “She’s by her side, she’s a rock for her and there will be some positivity. Gemma will come through this with a new level of appreciation and love for her mum”.
4. Gary treads a dangerous path
First the good news. MacLeod has made it clear that he has no plans to write Gary Windass (Mikey North) off of the show any time soon, stating that not only does he think North is a “terrific actor”, but that he thinks the character is more interesting now than ever. “I don’t want the ejector button pressed on this yet”- that sounds like there is a lot of life in Gary yet. But if he’s sticking around, that means more drama on the way for him and MacLeod revealed that his care for the daughter of the man he killed will soon be stirring suspicion from several street residents.
Speaking about how people view his relationship with Kelly Neelan (Millie Gibson), McLeod said that “When people discover it’s Rick’s kid, it precipitates an explosion for Sarah, Adam and Gary ahead of the wedding in summer.” That wedding is, of course, the one coming up between Gary and Maria Connor (Samia Longchambon) that looks set to stage some serious drama as opposed to a day for all to enjoy. Will the pair make it down the aisle? Or will Gary’s murderous past come back to haunt him?
5. A revisit to Carla’s lost weekend
Expect a revisit to Carla Connor’s (Alison King) mental health story in the coming weeks, along with a revelation that will leave more than one person shocked. Viewers will remember that Carla went missing last year when her problems were at their peak and whilst she is in a much better place now, it turns out there is a dark secret from that time that will not only have an impact on a mystery character but could also spell trouble for her and Peter Barlow (Christopher Gascoyne). On who the mystery person is, MacLeod assured us that it isn’t anybody we have met yet.
“We meet two people we’ve not seen before, who emerge from Carla’s mental health story,” he explained while saying that “in the present, somebody that’s currently in the show elsewhere reveals their true colours. That’s a bit cryptic, but I don’t want to give too much away.” Intriguing indeed. As for Carla and Peter, MacLeod told us that “This will be a tricky time for Peter and Carla. What he discovers about her lost weekend will be a hard thing for him to swallow but ultimately, he will come to love her all the more for it and be all the more proud of her for overcoming it.” That sounds like another storyline that is heading for a somewhat happy resolution!
6. Social distancing will be included
You may have heard of a virus called COVID-19 that has ground the world to a standstill these last couple of months. Well, the pandemic isn’t going to be ignored in Weatherfield with MacLeod explaining that when filming resumes, the virus will very much be a part of Coronation Street going forward – albeit with a light touch. Admitting that they had considered having the show “exist in a parallel universe where everything proceeded in a pre-pandemic fashion”, ultimately, it was decided that as the show represents the real world, it would be strange to not have it be a part of the soap.
“It just felt that if there were to be no coronavirus in Coronation Street, it would stop being a reflection of modern Britain and would instead be a parallel fantasy land. So we took the view that it has to exist in our world” he explained of the decision. “However I am also aware that people also tune in to Coronation Street for escapism to some degree, and to see drama and stories that they’d never normally experience in their own lives, and stuff that they’d never normally see in their own living rooms played out on screen. So while the virus will exist in Coronation Street, we were also keen that it wouldn’t dominate every single story and every single scene.” How they will address the lack of a lockdown remains to be seen. Could we be working toward a time jump or will that aspect simply be ignored?
7. Expect more Toyah
There have been those who have said that Toyah Battersby (Georgia Taylor) has been a little underused of late, and if you are one of those people then we have good news- MacLeod agrees with you and has plans to rectify it. “I would agree that Toyah has been a little bit underused,” he admitted whilst adding: “She is a fabulous character and Georgia is a fabulous actor so we are looking to fix that.” At the very least, viewers will soon see her step up and play an important part in a story coming up for Leanne (Jane Danson) and Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson). “She will be a huge part of Leanne’s story with her son Oliver’s health crisis,” while Toyah and Imram will also apparently have some big choices to make as Leanne’s story plays out.
8. Nina to help Asha
Poor Asha Alahan (Tanisha Gorey) was devastated when a private topless video she sent to a crush ended up in the wrong hands – and then all over the internet. She has already dealt with self-esteem issues and this latest blow has been really hard for her, and her family to deal with. Her father, Dev (Jimmi Harkishin) tried to help but only made things worse, and the two have exchanged some harsh words in the aftermath. There is someone that is firmly on her side though – Nina Lucas (Mollie Gallagher) and the gothic character proves how loyal she is when she doesn’t hesitate to call Dev out on some truths he needs to hear.
It turns out that it was a smart move as Nina will influence how Dev moves forward with the situation. She will also be instrumental in helping Asha with her esteem issues. “Nina is used to having people look askance at her and talk about her behind her back,” MacLeod said of the influence Nina will have. “She has learned to be out and proud, own her life and own her life story. So she is instrumental in helping Asha put herself together emotionally.”
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