Knowing he caused the carnage is a wake-up call for the cocky ex-soldier, whose attempts to cover up the accidental death of Rana Habeeb following his factory roof sabotage, and the very deliberate murder of gangster Rick Neelan, have seen him become increasingly ruthless.
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Taking over Rick’s loan shark empire has put the character on a full Michael Corleone/Anakin Skywalker trajectory to the dark side.
But according to Mikey North, who plays the wild Windass, this is just the beginning…
“After the fallout of Christmas, the new year will see Gary go good again for a little bit,” he tells RadioTimes.com. “Then he’s going to turn back to the dark side when something very unexpected happens – and I can’t say any more!”
Another turning point for the bad boy is the fact girlfriend Maria Connor (Samia Longchambon) is having his baby. “Gary is already a dad, this is his third kid, but he really wants to make it work with Maria,” continues North. “That also spurs him to put the darkness behind him at that point. He’s looking to the future with another child on the way.”
Longchambon also teases this big twist for 2020, beyond the horror of the festive season which is shaping up to be one of the most violent in Corrie history.
“Yes, something major happens early next year,” she muses. Could it be connected to Maria’s pregnancy? “Nothing ever goes smoothly for Maria and there’s a long way to go before the baby arrives,” she replies, deftly dodging the question…
“Maria has finally got the family unit and the father figure for her son Liam she’s craved. She doesn’t know the full extent of Gary’s dodgy dealings, but whenever Sarah or Ali try and warn her and she pulls him up on it he manages to talk her round. He treats Maria like a princess. I want to shake her, but then I’ve wanted to do that a lot for the best part of 20 years!”
Becoming the soap’s next Big Bad after a period of being the good guy is something North is taking in his stride. “Yes, it’s strange being hated again! When the Windasses joined they had a reputation of being rough and feared. This touches on Gary’s early days and brings him full circle.”
Not everyone hates him, however, much to Longhambon’s bemusement: “Women go crazy for him!” she giggles. “Whenever we’re out they come up to Mikey screaming ‘We love you, Gary!’ And I’m thinking ‘That’s not what we’re aiming for here!’.
“No one’s loving Maria I can tell you that – they’re just warning me off him!”
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