Coronation Street's Alya Nazir may have wasted no time in claiming what's rightfully hers when she seized the factory in tonight's double bill. But actress Sair Khan has revealed that she felt intimidated at the prospect of squaring up to the Connor clan.
"Doing any scenes with Ali King [Carla] is amazing - she's just brilliant. They were scary, though, I'm not going to lie! My adrenaline was at an all time high," the star said today. "I was shaking after the scenes and it took me a while to calm down. It's Alya taking on the Connors, which was quite scary."
Scenes just shown saw Alya act decisively when it came to taking control of Underworld, even going so far as to change the locks while the Connors grieved at Aidan's funeral. And Khan revealed that this is just the start of her character's show of power:
"This move is four years in the making - when she came in, she was super ambitious and had all that passion. It may have just been dampened by all of the deaths that have really shaped the person she has become. It's been hard for her, but her mind is back on track due to this opportunity.
"She's definitely capable and very intelligent. She was running this business with Aidan and they will have done a lot of things together and then Carla has come in and changed everything around. But Alya is just trying to do the right thing, which is to grow the business."
But as it turns out, Carla won't take Alya's bold move lying down and will resort to devious means to snatch Underworld back. As Khan explained: "Alya thought that Carla had a bit more class than it turns out she does - some of the tactics are really underhand and she is just quite shocked that Aidan's wishes are being so disrespected. And it ends up putting everyone's jobs at risk, so Alya is quite taken aback by it all."
However, despite the on-screen in-fighting and ill feeling, Khan herself couldn't be happier to be laying down the law at Underworld. Asked how she felt when she learned she'd be getting the factory, the Corrie star said:
"I couldn't believe it - I was telling everyone! It's so exciting. I will never stop being excited about being in Coronation Street and having storylines like this, it never gets old. It's amazing."
And when it comes to the future, she isn't ruling out Alya getting a new man in her life, perhaps even Weatherfield returnee Nick Tilsley, who is set to make a comeback later this year: "I'm all for unlikely pairings!" she laughed. "It is true that they're both ambitious - and Alya is always happy to annoy Carla."
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