After Bruno Langley’s unceremonious exit from Coronation Street in 2017, the return of Todd Grimshaw is one of the most anticipated soap recasts in years, and Daniel Brocklebank has revealed he was personally involved in selecting Gareth Pierce as the new face of his character Billy Mayhew’s old flame.
“I was part of the casting process which was brilliant, as it is important that the same level of chemistry is there between Billy and Todd that there always was,” he says.
Corrie confirmed Eileen Grimshaw’s estranged son will reappear this autumn played by Stella and The Archers star Pierce, replacing Langley who left over being convicted of two counts of sexual assault after 17 years in the part.
On screen, slippery Todd fled while police investigated boyfriend Billy’s criminal past fearing it would jeopardise their adoption of teenager Summer Spellman. He assaulted a police officer and went on the run, although it now transpires the cops later questioned and released him.
A bag of Todd’s belongings was recently found abandoned by the canal, and worried Billy has reported him as a missing person. Fears he’s died will soon prove unfounded, so what can Brocklebank tell us about the moment the vexed vicar is reunited with his flighty former lover?
“It’s always horrible when you run into an ex, and never pleasant for anyone,” he smirks. “It’s a mixed bag of emotions and realistically Billy will want answers from Todd. Once they’ve established he’s alright, he’ll demand to know what the bloody hell has been going on!
“I’m so excited Todd is coming back,” continues the actor. “It feels very unfinished from Billy’s perspective. He is still unaware as to why Todd up and left in the first place, so I’m assuming there will be lots of questions.
“Regardless of their history, Billy still cares deeply for Todd even if it’s not on a romantic level. He assures his new boyfriend Paul he’s only searching for Todd to help Eileen, he doesn’t want to rekindle anything. Whether he’ll regret that when Todd is found remains to be seen.”
Having been instrumental in Pierce’s casting, along with Sue Cleaver aka Eileen, Brocklebank is enthused about the recasting and has no qualms viewers will accept the change.
“I was thrilled they chose Gareth, as Sue and I both felt he really brought such a lot to the character. All the actors in the final screen test were great, but Gareth felt like Todd.”