Coronation Street has killed off Robert Preston (Tristan Gemmill) in a dramatic Christmas Day shooting that also saw gunman Derek Milligan fall to his death after terrorising the locals, and Shona Platt (Julia Goulding) rushed into life-saving surgery after she too took a bullet.
In a gear shift from the usual 'cosy' Corrie Christmas, deranged Derek hit the bottle and stormed into a packed Rovers Return armed, dangerous and out for revenge on ruthless loan shark Gary Windass (Mikey North), who he blames for ruining his life.
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Attempting to bluff Derek, Gary told him the gun from his furniture shop was not loaded, which backfired (literally) when Mr Milligan aimed the shooter at the doorway and took a shot through the glass.
Luring him away from the innocent punters, Gary fled out the back of the pub and Derek left by the main door to find him - and discovered Robert bleeding out on the ground. The unlucky chef had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and had been shot as he was about to enter the pub, unaware of the siege unfolding inside.
A passing Aggie Bailey tended to her wounded neighbour and called an ambulance, while Derek and Gary played cat and mouse in the winter wonderland fairground, which the Platts were using as a birthday treasure hunt for David.
Tense scenes ensued as Gary tried to protect the family, the situation climaxing atop the helter skelter where Mr Windass got shot in the arm and Derek slipped and fell to the ground below.
Poor old Shona was hiding in a giant present box as part of the treasure hunt and been in the path of Derek randomly firing shots during the showdown. She was rushed to hospital and had life-saving surgery, but down the corridor Robert wasn't so lucky and he died from his injuries.
Guilty Gary was hailed a hero for saving the day, but the locals are unaware he is actually to blame for the siege as the true nature of his dodgy business empire remains a secret - for now…
Robert's death marks the end of Gemmill's four years in the role, while Goulding is set to make a temporary exit soon to accommodate her real life maternity leave - could there be a twist in the tale for Shona's recovery?
There are more heartbreaking goodbyes ahead on Friday 27th December when Kym Marsh's final scenes (for now) as Michelle Connor air. With ex-fiancee Robert dead, no wonder she feels like there's nothing left in Weatherfield for her…
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