With another big Corrie week on the horizon starting this coming Sunday 22nd May, my fellow blogger Ruth and I travelled to Manchester for an exclusive preview of the upcoming episodes as well as interviews with key cast members, including Alison King, who plays troubled bride-to-be, Carla Connor.
As we know, Alison is leaving the soap, and when we sat down to chat, despite it being three weeks since she had filmed her last scene as Carla, she was still fatigued from the experience. “I’ve been away for five days and come back and yeah, I’m still knackered." she told me. "I’ve a cold now. When you stop, all your ailments kick in don’t they. But yeah, I’m alright, I’ll get there.”
So just how tiring was filming her final scenes? “Very emotional and very draining" Alison explains, "you have to rev yourself up to do that all day long.” She continues, "that was all emotion and real stuff as well; obviously I knew I was going." While finishing up has given Alison closure, there are still a few more scenes that she has yet to see.
Alison told me that she is both happy with the exit storyline she was given and the fact that they have left the door open for a return, adding, "I’m really grateful for that.”
So, has she anything lined up now? “I can’t possibly tell you" she teases, before laughing and confirming, "no, nothing. I’m just having a rest at the minute, and being Mum and I’ve got a million jobs to do that I haven’t got around to yet."
She is currently nominated for Best Actress in the Soap Awards, and tells me, “It’d be great [to win], the fans have been amazing, and it’s the fans vote, isn’t it.”
With regard to a favourite storyline, she acknowledges that they've all been biggies, but makes particular mention of the 2011 one in which Carla was raped by Frank Foster, noting that Carla's actions saw the statistics change with more men and women in the same situation coming forward.
Alison says she has loved working with Ben Price, and will miss the people on Corrie most. “These are my best friends and I love them very much" she tells me. "I’ll miss them all and being with them, you know, the cast and crew and production, they’re my family.”
Asked if she has taken any mementos with her, Alison reveals, “No, just a lot of Carla’s clothes which were mine anyway, and none of the heels.”
Carla has been a huge part of Coronation Street for a long time now, and the loss of such a major character will undoubtedly be felt on the cobbles. However, I do wish Alison the very best, and look forward to seeing what she does next.
Alison says she will definitely keep watching Coronation Street, and our readers should make sure they do the same for what promises to be a compelling week of viewing.
By Emma Hynes
Read more about our exclusive press preview in Manchester here.
You can find more about Corrie's big week, including the official spoilers and trailer, here.
The Little Book of Carla Connor
A Decade in the Life of a Soap Queen
An unofficial Coronation Street companion book
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