Ever since Coronation Street's Ryan Connor (Ryan Prescott) was left with life-changing injuries after a vicious acid attack, his ex-girlfriend Alya Nazir (Sair Khan) has been by his side to help him through his recovery – but things got awkward during tonight's episode (Monday 17th April) when Ryan told Alya he loved her.


As a new week began, Ryan wished he could attend court to see his attacker, Justin Rutherford (Andrew Still), plead guilty. Unfortunately, scenes showed stalker Justin declare himself innocent, and Daisy Midgeley (Charlotte Jordan) visited Ryan to break the upsetting news.

Daisy later reached out to club promoter Crystal, hoping she could boost Ryan's spirits – only for Crystal to later inform Daisy that she had no interest in Ryan now.

Meanwhile, Ryan has been grateful for Alya's solid support as she brought him food and put him at ease just by being herself. We all knew that Ryan was still very much in love with her, but when he told Alya this, she explained that although she loved him as a friend, that was as far as their relationship could go now.

Upcoming scenes will see Ryan face his injuries for the first time in hospital, but for now, stars Prescott and Khan speak out over the end of Ryan and Alya's on/off romance.

More like this

Revealing Ryan's feelings for Alya when he confided in her, Prescott explains: "Ryan does love Alya and he has always loved Alya. I don’t think that has changed and before the acid attack happened they had a little one night stand situation and even then Ryan said to Alya, 'Would you consider getting back together?'

"Alya didn’t think it was a good idea and so he took that hit before and he already knows where he stands with Alya."

Alya was taken aback by Ryan's words in Coronation Street
Alya was taken aback by Ryan's words in Coronation Street. ITV

The actor continues: "But after the acid attack, he is on damage control and because he feels like no one will ever love him again, he is desperate to reach out to the first place that he feels love and that place is Alya. He tries to hold on to that as tight as he can and in doing so ends up pushing it away even further and reconfirming that it’s not going to happen like that."

Prescott also opens up on how Ryan feels in the wake of Alya's response. "Ryan was gutted. It’s the icing on the cake and when Alya shoots him down, even though it’s in a really nice way, it’s the reconfirmation of 'No one is going to love me. No one is going to accept me.'

"Having someone to love is a huge driving factor in Ryan’s life and he now starts to think that he is never going to have that again. He is so vulnerable and so alone in this state."

On Alya's reaction to Ryan's words, Khan adds: "Alya was quite taken aback because she wasn’t expecting it, and all her focus has been on making him feel comfortable and just trying to put a smile on his face.

"There always has been such warmth between them but Alya realised quite quickly that it could be easy to misconstrue the way that things have been playing out between them. She thinks that, deep down, love is the last thing on Ryan’s mind."

Alya turned Ryan down in Coronation Street
Alya turned Ryan down, marking the official end of the road for their relationship. ITV

While Alya went on to tell Daisy that she believes Ryan only confessed his love because of how much he's struggling, it certainly didn't feel that way as the scenes played out. Asked whether Alya's desire to just be friends is sincere, Khan replies: "Alya has so much love for Ryan but it’s a very complicated love because they have spent so much time together.

"He has been there for her through her darkest moments, like everything that happened with Geoff, and he has brought out a fun side of Alya but he has also betrayed her in a very cruel way.

"Maybe that was more Daisy’s fault, when she was trying to be a bit tricky with him, but I don’t think that changes how much that hurt Alya. Alya is also struggling with a lot of her own feelings in the aftermath of her attack, so I don’t think she has the capacity to love in the way that she would want to love him and she isn’t open to receiving any kind of love at the moment herself."

Discussing why Alya thinks Ryan is scared of being alone, she says: "Before the acid attack happened, Alya saw a glimpse of happiness in Ryan’s eyes when he was talking about going to Ibiza and following his dreams. She saw that he wasn’t tied to the Street and that there were adventures out there for him outside of their messy relationship and she was genuinely happy for him.

"Now after the acid attack, Ryan is completely vulnerable, his mum is not around and he doesn’t have that much family. Alya feels like she is one of the closest things to family that Ryan has on the Street and he needs that support so much, so Alya thinks that Ryan has confused that love and affection for romantic love. Alya realises that it’s not about her, it’s about his emotions and what he is going through."

Read more:

Going on to discuss her character's current state of mind with regards to Ryan's ordeal, she says: "It’s been incredibly difficult for Alya to see Ryan this way and the shock of the event has really hit her. She saw him earlier in the day, before the acid attack, and everything was fine and then so quickly, his life changed.

"A lot of the residents on Coronation Street have been through life-changing events but Ryan’s is one that is so physical and so painful and Alya has never seen or experienced something like this before. She is trying to be sensitive but she’s in shock, seeing someone she cares about so deeply in so much pain. It’s been really difficult for her and it’s been quite hard for her to hide her reaction."

Alya's presence has been a huge part of Ryan's initial recovery, Prescott confirms.

"It has meant so much to Ryan. Ryan has an overwhelming fear that he will never be loved or be intimate with someone again so he reached out and tried to grasp at everything around him, one of those things being the relationship with Alya. He is in this whirlwind of emotions and the loneliness he is feeling is one of the things that pushed him to take his chance again with Alya."

On whether this is truly the end of the road for Ryan and Alya as a couple, he admits: "I know that Ryan hopes that it isn’t and it would be lovely to see something pop up in the future.

"Ryan, being such a hopeful character anyway, has got such a massive spirit and he will keep a little bit of secret hope in his heart but regardless of any idea he holds close, I think he has got a clear answer from Alya so he is not going to try again anytime soon."

"For now, it is the end for Ryan and Alya because as soon as Ryan tells Alya that he loves her, Alya has to put up a boundary to protect herself from getting hurt again and from hurting him by giving him mixed signals," Khan explains.

"She feels she has to protect any thread of friendship that they could possibly have by taking a step back from his healing and letting other people take the lead on it. This is hard and heartbreaking for Alya to come to terms with because she just wants to be there for him and she doesn’t know what Ryan’s response to her taking a step back is going to be.

"Alya also needs to do a lot of healing herself; she has pretended that she is completely fine after her attack but she is playing a good game and just pretending that she is okay. When Alya sees Ryan so vulnerable, it is quite triggering for her so she feels like she needs to create a bit of a distance between them out of love."

Read more:

What about Ryan's journey from this point onwards? "There is a combination of things that will impact Ryan’s mindset and recovery like not being able to hold on to Alya, reaching out to Crystal and depending on Daisy," Prescott reveals.

"These are all the women in his life and it stems from his mum not being on the scene. This is a huge factor for Ryan and one of the things that I have been playing with as an actor. Ryan needs female energy in his life, especially going through this emotional trauma.

"He needs his mum and so he clings on to these female figures in his life like Daisy, Crystal and Alya, to try and feel some sense of comfort. His mother has always been the one that has grounded him, even when he found out that she wasn’t his mother by blood relation. He still didn’t leave the Street after that and he still didn’t try to find his actual family."

He adds: "Ryan likes to stay with the people he feels grounded with, and with his mum not here, you can see the panic in him when he tries to reach out to keep his other relationships safe and bring these people closer.

"When this has a polar opposite effect and things start dropping and people start moving further away from him, it pushes him into that overwhelming sense of, 'No one is ever going to love me again.'"

Coronation Street has been working with ASTI and the Katie Piper Foundation on this hard-hitting storyline. For support and information, visit their websites.

Visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide and Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.