Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Billy Mayhew - 'I'm a gay vicar with a junkie brother'

Oh, but Billy! Yes you are gay, yes you are a vicar, yes you have a junkie brother, but you are so much more than that. You are a man with a serious vocation, which you execute with dedication and duty. You are also fun, not afraid to throw a punch when necessary, and able to break up a fight. To all those who ask for it in your parish, you give your time, and it is also worth mentioning that you are very easy on the eye.

As Emma pointed out in her blog, you took centre stage on Sunday and you were magnetic. Every nuance of feeling registered right there on your face and your troubles became our troubles. So hats off to the wondrous Daniel Brocklebank for a superb performance.

Checking the date of Billy's arrival on the cobbles, it was December 2014. I had thought that it was much earlier than that as he feels as if he is a well-established character.

But Billy has his troubles, perhaps chief amongst them is his relationship with Sean, which now seems to be in the past. Judging from Monday's episodes, it seems as if Sean will not give up without a fight, though he is despondent. He calls his love life 'a countdown to disappointment and heartbreak.' Sean has seen Billy and Todd in an embrace. When he asks Billy. 'Is there anything going on between you and Todd?' Billy does not answer.

There is also Billy's brother, who is a drug addict. Billy has been giving him money, but berates himself for 'taking the easy way out' as he sees it. 'I knew the money I was giving him would go straight to his arm.' This is a complex situation for Billy and he feels ashamed to have a junkie brother but then he feels ashamed of feeling ashamed. He tells Todd, 'I am meant to be the one with all the answers.' Todd tells him, 'That's your boss's job. You're just another bloke trying to do his best.'

Another difficulty is his knowledge of Sarah's 'confession' regarding Callum. As he says, 'I'm supposed to respect people's confidentiality.' In addition, he speaks of his duty to his parishioners, 'People want to believe, they need confidence, certainties, to respect my judgement.' He then calls himself an 'abject failure.' A life viewed from the inside is very different from a life viewed from the outside. Never has this been more true than in Billy's case.

Then there is Marion, a mother drowning in grief, who turns up at Billy's church. Sobbing, she tells Billy about Callum and asks him to conduct Callum's funeral. On agreeing and as Marion departs, Billy clasps his mouth with his hand and raises his eyes to the skies, no doubt seeking a sign from God as to how he should proceed.

With Todd, later, Billy lies to him, telling Todd that he in fact did not tell Sean all about Sarah and her confession to Todd, but that he was telling Sean about Bethany and how she had been bullied. Todd seems to believe that.

  What Sean doesn't know and nor does Todd, yet, is what also came as a surprise to many of us, and that is that Billy has fallen for Todd. Who saw that coming?

Todd is enraged and orders Billy not to reveal his feelings for him to Sean. Todd then orders Billy out of the house.

Once again, a thousand praises to the brilliant Daniel Brocklebank!

Ruth  - twitter @Ruth1722

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C in Canada said...

You're right in that him being on the show since only 2014 was a surprise, I thought it had been longer. Long may he be vicar of the street!

Dolly Tubb said...

Wow, doesn't DB scrub up well?! Billy the Vicar is one of the best acted, well rounded and totally believable characters to have walked the hallowed Cobbles in recent years. Oh please don't let the Pen of Doom morph him into yet another shallow, plot-driven one dimensional character as has happened so often in the past. He's my joint number one fave character right now, alongside St Roy of the Rolls (quite apt, I think!)

Stephen Feldman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen Feldman said...

He has been fabulous in this role. Is it just me, or does he remind you of a young Sean Connery?

Tvor said...

What a fabulous post! I've been loving Billy more and more and this current storyline has really given Daniel Brocklebank the chance to shine!

Ruth Owen said...

Ah, thank you Tvor!

Corriegated Cardboard said...

Wait, but Billy DID tell Sean that Sarah was upset about Bethany being bullied, he didn't lie to Todd at all??

Ruth Owen said...

I think it was a lie of omission. Billy knew what Todd was asking and Billy cleverly deflected the question.

Anonymous said...

I am really hoping that the Billy and Todd pairing works out, so much more potential than Sean and Billy. I have to agree with the post above, the actor underneath really does remind me of a young Sean Connery.

Dime said...

Yes-I too see the Sean Connery resemblance.

Ancient corrier said...

Love Billy, love Daniel B, he looks so natural and comfortable in his role. Best addition we've had for a long time.
And yes I agree with Dooy Tubb, please don't mess it up Corrie writers.

Ancient corrier said...

Oops! Sorry DOLLY Tubb.

Cobblestone said...

That's not what I got from the episode. I think he lied to Sean about the nature of the 'Sarah problem'. Seriously, if he'd told Sean Sarah had killed Callum, I'm sure we'd have seen Sean's 'dramatic' reaction. He was telling Todd the truth in saying he'd fobbed Sean off with the Bethany story. Surely this is why, immediately afterwards, as he & Sean stood outside the Rovers & Sean spoke of 'no more lies', that's when Billy felt he had to break it off. That was my understanding, anyway.

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