Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare in Coronation Street with son Oliver suspected of having a serious illness, and now she’s lashing out at partner Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) as the toddler’s condition worsens.
Tension boiled over while waiting for news in the hospital as stressed Leanne blew up at Nick, reminding him he’s not Oliver’s biological father and ordering him to go home.
“It’s quite a painful moment,” shares Danson, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com. “But I think she’s just hurting, and you often take it out on the people that mean the most to you. The only ones that will forgive Leanne are her nearest and dearest such as Nick, and her sister Toyah, so they are the ones she vents her frustrations on.”
In upcoming episodes Oliver will be diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, a rare, incurable life-threatening condition. The heartbreaking storyline plunges Leanne, Oliver’s father Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) and their respective families into turmoil with far-reaching consequences set to devastate Corrie’s most beloved clans.
“It’s going to be interesting as it opens up lots of different stories,” continues Danson. “There is a ripple effect on every relationship Leanne has in her life.
“She brought Simon Barlow up and loves him, but he’s not her blood. Even Toyah isn’t blood, they’re actually step sisters. Leanne has had such a fractured family life, her own mother abandoned her and her father is off somewhere – she may be surrounded by people who love her, but biologically Oliver is the only thing she has around her. That will be explored further, but at the moment Leanne is full of bravado, shutting people out because she’s being protective.”
While Lee quickly makes it up with Nick, next week the couple and their extended, blended family face more challenges when doctors warn they believe Oliver may have suffered brain damage after his seizures, and advise it will be weeks before test results confirming whether he has mitochondrial disease will come back.
“Leanne is conflicted, she says to Toyah when she does know for sure she might wish she was back in a situation where she didn’t know. It’s a very poignant scene. At the moment there’s the hope they’ve got it wrong, Leanne clings to that hope for now…”