Carla Connor sold herself for sex in exchange for a place to hide during her psychological breakdown, and the shock revelation has ended months of speculation about a dark secret from the Coronation Street character’s past.
The arrival on the cobbles of two very dodgy-looking sorts, Chelsey and Jordan, shook the former factory boss as they claimed to know her, only she had no idea who they were – at first.
As they mounted a blackmail attempt the whole sorry story unravelled: in April 2019 while fragile Carla was in the grip of a mental health crisis, believing she was responsible for the death of Rana Habeeb in the Underworld roof collapse, she ran away.
When she was eventually found she’d been living in a dingy squat on the rough Brightwell estate, but had no recollection of the lost weeks. Carla slowly recovered and put the painful incident behind her, but Jordan reminded her of the sordid truth – that she offered him sexual favours so he would let her stay in the squat and she could keep a roof over her head.
The disturbing memories came flooding back as horrified Carla recalled the depths she sank to during the most turbulent time of her life.
Partner Peter Barlow caught Carla and Jordan mid-showdown in the Rovers’ backroom, and in future episodes he’ll help his other half stand up to her antagonists and send them packing. But suspicion later falls on Peter when news of an assault on a man and a woman from Brightwell breaks, and Carla suspects he is behind it to settle the score.
How far will Peter go to defend Carla’s honour? And could he end up behind bars for trying to help her?
The plot is Carla’s first big storyline for a while, and was teased by Corrie producer Iain MacLeod to RadioTimes.com at the start of the year.
It’s set to cause a rift between the couple, but fans fearing their favourite partnership is in danger of falling apart can rest easy.
“This is a real test for Peter and Carla,” teased the show boss. “It’s an incredibly tricky time for them both, what Peter discover about this missing chapter in her life is hard for him to swallow, but he will ultimately be proud of her for overcoming it.
“The storyline is an opportunity to fill in the blanks about Carla’s ‘lost weekend’. There were glimpses of her in a hotel and the squat at the time, but she had no idea how she got there. We simply don’t know what happened.”
Now we do, are a new set of problems just beginning for Carla?