This time last year Carla Connor (Alison King) was heading towards a psychological breakdown in the aftermath of the factory collapse that killed Rana Habeeb, for which she blamed herself.
The Coronation Street fan-favourite bravely overcame her issues and with the help of lover Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) has bounced back – but she’s about to be reminded of her struggle as an unexpected blast from the past forces her to revisit her mental health battle.
“Now Carla is back on an even keel psychologically we wanted to revisit her mental health crisis, specifically when she went missing during that time,” reveals Corrie producer Iain MacLeod, speaking to RadioTimes.com about the soap’s storylines heading into summer.
Earlier this year the showrunner exclusively teased Carla’s big plot to us in our 2020 preview and said it would hit screens in April, but due to the reduction in episodes airing as a result of the pause in production during the coronavirus pandemic that has now been pushed back to June.
“It’s an opportunity to fill in the blanks and reveal something we didn’t know previously,” he continues. “There were glimpses of her in a hotel and a squat, but when she was found she had no recollection of how she got there and we simply don’t know what happened.
“Two new characters will be introduced who emerge from Carla’s ‘lost weekend’. What that provides in the present is a chance to see another existing character elsewhere on the street reveal their true colours. I’m aware that sounds cryptic but I don’t want to give too much away…!”
Since this blast from the past was teased, fans have speculated baddie Ray Crosby or newcomer Scott Emberton, who has a mysterious link to Carla’s dad Johnny Connor, may have something to do with this – not so, confirms MacLeod.
“I can tell you for sure it’s not to do with Ray or Scott, there are new characters we’ve yet to meet.”
As in our preview back in January, MacLeod warned the surprise twist would challenge Carla’s volatile romance with Peter, but assured the couple would come out stronger on the other side.
“It will be a real test for Carla and Peter. I’ve always said they’re our Taylor and Burton and at their best when they’re at their most explosive. This will be a tricky time for them, what he discovers about this missing chapter is hard for him to swallow, but will ultimately be proud of her for overcoming it.”
Carla is currently temporarily in charge of the Rovers, with Johnny and step-mum Jenny away on holiday, and seeing as MacLeod also told us he wanted to see the ex-factory boss back on top could this be her unofficial audition to join the ranks of the pub’s iconic landladies?
“I’ve got an appetite to see Carla back in the saddle. We needed to have a period where she looked after herself, rather than run a business like the ball-breaking go-getter we know she can be. Now I’d like to see her regain her status as Queen of the cobbles.”