The schism within the Platt family in Coronation Street has widened now that David Platt (Jack P Shepherd) has been jailed for fraud only to watch his brother, and co-conspirator, Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) be told he is a free man.
Friday 12th July’s hour-long episode delivered the court’s verdict on the siblings’ differing punishment for stealing thousands of pounds from their grandmother Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls). Despite taking full responsibility and backing out of his plan to throw his brother under the bus, Nick got a two-year suspended sentence, while poor old David was sent down for eight months as a result of still being on licence for attacking Gary Windass last year.
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“David’s girlfriend Shona is furious as it means their August wedding has to be postponed,” reveals Shepherd. “It all has to be binned, but at this point David actually wants bygones to be bygones where Nick is concerned. He would like to move on because they’re a family at the end of the day – albeit a mixed-up one!”
Nick robbing from Audrey back in January set off a chain of events that shaped the Platts’ plots for the whole of 2019, eventually driving Gail to flee to Bangkok for a much-needed holiday earlier this week to escape the squabbling, and causing irreparable damage to relations between all the relatives. Can one of the cobbles’ mightiest clans survive this crisis?
“It all depends whether they can put things behind them or whether they continue this feud,” considers Shepherd. “I’d like it to carry on so it’s a Cain and Abel story for Nick and David, I think that’s more interesting. But we’ll see.
“David has become more moralistic while Nick has gone properly bad, but that’s characters going in phases isn’t it? If David stayed bad all the time the bosses would have to get rid of me and I don’t want to go – and I don’t think they want me to go. So they find a way to have me being good again.”
What does the future hold for David after his prison sentence?
In the coming weeks Nick tries to make amends with Audrey and sister Sarah Platt (Tina O’Brien), with his grandmother surprisingly more open to the idea of forgiveness, only for his sibling to remain resolutely stung by the betrayal that has destroyed the dynasty. And it remains to be seen if anyone is still speaking to Gail when she returns later in the summer after doing a runner.
As for David’s future, Shepherd teases what we can expect from his alter ego’s time inside. “I’m sure he won’t be just sitting around for a few months,” he smirks. “I actually don’t know what’s planned but I will say there is going to be some drama. I’d like his sentence to go smoothly this time. Maybe he could be the prison heavy!”
Further down the line the actor is already thinking about the soap’s 60th anniversary in December 2020, and admits he’d welcome the challenge of another live episode to mark the occasion. “I love doing them. A lot of the cast don’t because they get petrified which is understandable. I like the buzz of it, everybody gets an input and feels part of it, much more than you do day-to-day. The night is amazing with hundreds of people involved, and there’s always a great after party.
“I’ve done three now (2000, 2010 and 2015) – I was actually the first person on screen in my first one, for the 40th anniversary in 2000. I was kicking a ball!”
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