*Warning: Contains spoilers for Tuesday's Coronation Street episode (9th July 2024), currently available to stream on ITVX.*


Fresh from the bombshell that Lauren Bolton (Cait Fitton) is alive after all, Coronation Street has unveiled another shock twist in the latest offering of the ITV soap.

Lauren showed up at a barely conscious Roy Cropper's (David Neilson) hospital bedside, full of tearful apologies for not returning to clear his name after he was previously accused of her murder.

A nurse mistook Lauren for Roy's niece, Nina Lucas (Mollie Gallagher), and after warmly squeezing Roy's hand and saying goodbye, Lauren furtively tried to leave the grounds, only for her attacker, Joel Deering (Calum Lill), to grab her and push her into the family room.

A series of flashbacks showed viewers how Joel's sinister hold on vulnerable Lauren began when he represented her over her arrest for criminal damage. Joel wormed his way into the struggling teen's life by handing over cash for her bills, after which he coerced her into a sexual relationship.

More like this
Lauren stood beside Roy's bedside in Coronation Street
Lauren paid a visit to Roy. ITV

To ease his conscience, Joel bought Lauren expensive jewellery, and it was revealed that he had been rough with her during sex, ignoring every plea she made for him to stop.

Finally, Lauren had stood up to Joel, who snapped when she uttered the name of his now-fiancée Dee-Dee Bailey (Channique Sterling-Brown) and savagely beat Lauren over the head multiple times. Lauren played dead and made a run for it, and she has been in hiding ever since, in fear for her life.

In the present, Joel made another grab for Lauren, who cowered and clutched her stomach. Joel was dumbfounded to discover that she was five months pregnant with his child, and questioned why Lauren hadn't dealt with the situation the way he expected and wanted.

In powerful scenes from star Fitton, Lauren admitted that she had come to love her baby. Soon, Joel attempted to gain sympathy, claiming that his parents' marriage issues had marred his childhood and turned him into the man he was today.

Lying that he was having counselling, Joel insisted he was changing for the better, while flashbacks contradicted his lies that he had tried to get help for Lauren after his violent assault on her.

Joel with a hand over terrified Lauren's mouth in Coronation Street
Joel tried to overpower Lauren. ITV

Lauren told Joel she didn't believe a word that came out of his mouth, adding that she knew her mention of Dee-Dee had caused him to attack her. She threatened to scream if Joel laid another hand on her, warned him that he was nothing to her and her child.

Meanwhile, Roy told Nina that he had seen Lauren, and she quizzed a member of staff who explained that to her knowledge, no one else had been to visit Roy.

Nina, therefore, assumed that Roy had been hallucinating; but little did she know that Lauren was now fleeing the hospital, with Joel unable to catch her as he gave chase while keeping up his act over the phone with oblivious Dee-Dee in unexpectedly camp scenes.

Next week, Dee-Dee, Nina and Roy are finally aware that Lauren is alive, but Joel races to get to Lauren before the locals do. Will Joel be caught out?

For support and guidance on matters raised within this story, visit Barnardo's, NSPCC and SHE UK for help and advice.

Read more:

Visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.


Check out more of our Soaps coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what else is on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.