Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Jane Danson interview: Leanne's terrifying testimony

Drug boss Harvey has made Leanne Battersby's life a living hell for a long time now by terrorising her family. Just as Leanne finally sees the finish line, she is hit by more obstacles as Harvey's trial approaches. We spoke to Jane Danson to find out what Leanne has up her sleeve to try and rid her family of this nightmare. Will she succeed? 

After the heartbreak of losing Oliver, Leanne became hellbent on making sure she wasn't going to lose Simon as well, and Jane told us that Simon's safety is the most important thing. "Having already lost one son, she's got the potential to lose another one, so his safety is kind of paramount. The reason they've gone into hiding and staying away from everybody is to protect him, and obviously to protect herself as well and their little unit."

While it was only Simon who was initially involved, it has now spread to Natasha and even little Sam, leaving Leanne feeling terrible for involving Nick's family. "I think that's what's quite a clever thing about the story- it's not just a story revolving around one character, it's kind of drawing in lots of different characters. 

"[Leanne] feels terrible. I kind of feel for her in the sense that she can't really do right for doing wrong. She tried to protect Nick and not tell him anything, and in doing so, she kind of alienated herself and became a little bit distant. He wanted to know why, and eventually when he found out what was going on, he had to make that awful choice of being with his son or supporting Leanne. In terms of story layers, there's loads to explore there which has been really good."

From prison, Harvey has been using Sharon to put the frighteners on Leanne to stop her from testifying in court, which even resulted in Sam being kidnapped. As Harvey's trial looms, the family are put in danger once again when a gunman appears on the street. Will this make Leanne change her mind about testifying? Jane said: "It's another interesting element of the story that she makes her mind up on one day and then changes it the next. I think when we see the scenes with the gunman and stuff, you'll see a real shift in how she feels about it all.

"I think she's of the opinion that this is never going to end unless she stops it now- this is going to keep going on, and it'll be just one more thing and then another. She's terrified, and she's just trying to do her best and she doesn't really know whether telling the truth or lying is the best thing or not, so I suppose, it'll be how she feels on the day."

The trial eventually arrives, and Leanne is prepared to tell the truth, but her mind is sent racing when she comes face-to-face with Harvey in court. "I think that's kind of a lightbulb moment," Jane told us. "That's when we see a sort of strength forming again and she becomes a little bit old Leanne, which I always like doing. Obviously, she's been through what she's been through with Oliver, and she still kept that strength, which I really loved. Even when she might not have been right in places, her decisions might have been questionable at times, I loved the fact they stayed true to that inner Battersby, even though she's grown up and she's kind of a lot more sensible than she used to be. I think the writers have always remembered where she's from, and I'm really keen to keep hold of that, so I think we see old Leanne twinkling in the eyes there at the court."

During the trial, Leanne is shocked when Sharon appears, and turns on Harvey! However, Sharon can hardly be trusted, and Leanne is wary. "I think she smells a rat," Jane mused. "Leanne's not daft- she's lived a life, shall we say. She doesn't trust her as far as she could throw her. I think again, there's more to be explored there with those characters, but as things stand, she doesn't trust her at all."

Cast members across Corrie have been adhering to social distancing measures and keeping two metres apart, and Jane said this can be "frustrating" at times. "To say we're used to it is probably the wrong word, but we'd come off the back of the Oliver story which in a way, the distance leant itself to the way Leanne was feeling and she was pushing everybody away. Obviously with this storyline with Harvey, he was kind of asking her politely to get in the car, whereas on an ordinary day, he would've thrown her in the car, and it would've been much more physical.

"Maybe the scenes would've played out a little differently, but I think the audience understand that there are some things we can't do because we're just not allowed. It is frustrating because your natural instinct, as an actor, is to go forward and hug somebody or touch somebody, and that is really tough at times. We've got used to that way of working, but obviously, it's not ideal and then we're hopeful that things may change in the coming months, with a bit of luck for the world."

Throughout this storyline, Leanne and Nick's relationship has been pushed to breaking point, and while they seem to be supporting each other right now, will it stay that way? "I've dipped into the old classic Corrie's that are on ITV3 at the minute, and Nick and Leanne are very sort of prominent at that time, and it's 24 years ago, so you go: 'Isn't it fab that those two characters are kind of still together?' They've split up, they got back together, they've been off with other people, but Ben and I love working together, we've got a great working relationship and we really trust each other and it's just lovely. 

"We sort of campaigned constantly for those two to be together, just because we like working together and it makes our day nice! But on a serious note, from a creative point of view as well, we want them to have a happy ever after, which I don't think they ever will in terms of life stuff, but hopefully they can see it through together."

At the time Nick first found out about Sam, Leanne had a hard time coming to terms with it after her own tragic loss, but as time goes on, she understands the importance of Nick having Sam in his life. "I think she realises, having lost her own son, how important he is to Nick and how supportive he was bringing Oliver up as his own. I think she feels the same about Sam. There's a beautiful scene where she says: 'I will get sad sometimes, and I will need to be on my own, but that doesn't mean that I can't support you and let you have the life that you deserve.'

"I think that's really nice and I'm glad that they've continued to explore that grief. I know sometimes in soap, we don't like to see too much of that, but in real life, it's always there. Just the odd nod to that is really important."

As Leanne and Sam spend more time together, Jane told us what it's like working with Jude Riordan (Sam) and Alex Bain (Simon). "Alex and I have had some cracking scenes over the years, you know, we've had lots of different storylines together, and now seeing him grow as an actor and be challenged with different things and carrying a lot of the scenes as well, it's been really interesting to explore that, and he's really developing as an actor. 

"Little Jude is just delightful. He's just a joy to be around as well. It's just lovely seeing that innocence and obviously, we've got two very different characters there and different relationships, so it's lovely playing that out, and it means more scope for them as well together, which is really nice."

As Leanne fights for her family in court, is this the last we've seen of Harvey? Jane said: "I kind of feel that because of Covid, I feel like maybe we've not got into it like we could've done, so I'm curious as to see what's going to happen, because it feels a little bit unfinished for me. It feels like it kind of wraps up quite quickly, so I don't know. In soap, anything can happen, right?" 

Sophie Williams 

I'm on Twitter at @sophie_writer1

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

Spoilers for next week's Coronation Street, June 20 - 25

Here are the major storylines for the week ahead on Coronation Street, all wrapped up nicely in 50 words or less.

Sunday 20 to Friday 25 June

Note that Corrie is on as follows next week, Sunday 20 June (1 hr), Monday 21 June (1 hr), Wednesday 23 June (1 hr) and Friday 25 June (1 hr)

Sharon makes an explosive return; Summer's symptoms give Todd food for thought; Gemma and Chesney reach a decision; Rita plays a dangerous game; Leanne faces Harvey in court and Tyrone gets shock news about Kirsty.

See the full week's preview with pictures at 

Note: If you still see last week's previews when you click through to, please refresh your browser.

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!  
Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook   

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

Monday, 14 June 2021

Coronation Street Episode Review Monday 14th June

I'm watching on the ITV hub, which is showing the episodes before they are on TV, due to the football.

We have the first sighting of Aled since the time that Gemma was trudging round the streets with her ridiculously large buggy. So we're back to Issues, the matter in question being cochlear implants. I used to work in a deaf school and implants were extremely controversial, although for Gemma, it's more about the danger of the operation. Turns out that Norris and Freda are still around, and Chesney invites the latter over to talk to Gemma about the op and it seems like Ches 'n' Gem are on the same page, but by the end, Gemma is still against it and Chesney for.

Roy encourages Nina to carry on with her graphic novel but Nina has other ideas, ripping up her pictures and stomping off. Is Nina going to go back to normal at some point? Or have the make up people refused to do two hours of goth warpaint per ep? We've had teenagers going off the rails several times previously, but we've never had a feminist, haughty but kind emo before and I miss old Nina. However, it seems that spiralling Nina is here to stay.  Roy sellotapes up the pictures and Asha puts them on instagram, to Nina's horror. She has a go at Asha and then goes to Dev's to shoplift another bottle of voddy. Carla, no stranger to grief, persuades Evelyn to let her go, unarrested. Carla tells her about Liam (to be honest anyone on the street could have had this convo since there've been X number of murders and tragic deaths over the years) but Nina ignores her and goes to the Bistro with Daisy to get drunk again, before rushing off in a cab.

Talking of issues, Summer throws away her healthy(ish) breakfast before she has her test at school, then doesn't eat any lunch. I think we know where this is going, don't we? Summer's Spanish teacher rings to say that Summer gave her answers in French in the exam. I think we've all been there haven't we? Asking for a biรจre rather than a cerveza in a b?

Bernie asks Dev out and he reluctantly agrees, before Mary 'fesses up what she overheard in the pub on Friday and Bernie dumps a cheeky little pinot noir in Dev's lap. Even though Dev was surprisingly good as an understated concerned dad but I think we all wanted to see comedy Dev back with his salad CREAM and his squeals. He later apologises to Bernie with some sunflowers and she manages to get a pay-rise out of him. I'm shipping these crazy kids.

Last week Tyrone was trying to get custody of Ruby, but no-one wanted custody of Evelyn. I'll have her if Fiz gets rid. Anyway, she is in charge of delivering the kids to Talina's flat. Poor old Fiz sees them about to go back to the flat for some afternoon delight. Less delightful are the clothes that Alina has persuaded Tyrone to purchase, which Evelyn takes great delight in mocking. I have to say that I like Live Laugh Love Alina, it's a bit of a change from sad-eyed slave-manicurist.

That's about it. See you back here next week, same place, same(ish) time.

Rachel Stevenson - on twitter

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

The Week In Classic Corrie

MONDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 13th and 15th July 1998

Rita was put in a hyperbaric chamber at the hospital as she was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Sally and Alec maintained a vigil at her bedside, worrying that she wouldn't pull through.  Curly and Spider threatened to report Fred to the Gazette for trying to bribe him, but Fred maintained it was a misunderstanding.  Curly meanwhile tried to use his campaign as a way of getting close to Lorraine, roping her into helping out, not realising that she fancied Spider.  Liz went to Jim and told him she still loved him and the wheelchair didn't bother her one bit.  However, they decided to take things slow and not rush into a disastrous relationship.  

TUESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 17th and 19th July 1998

A gas engineer visited Rita's flat and pronounced that the fire had been installed wrong, causing the carbon monoxide leak.  Alec realised that Steve had installed it and swore revenge.  However, Steve visited Rita in hospital and persuaded her not to prosecute, as it was ultimately Jim's firm that was responsible for putting the fire in and he'd suffered enough with his disability.  Greg offered Sally a glass of wine after hours in the factory and she unburdened herself on him.  Inevitably they ended up having sex on Mike's desk.  They were almost caught at it by Maxine, who was pathetically puppy dog about her devotion to him.  The incident made Sally doubt her relationship with Kevin, though, and she worried when she saw that he was putting the garage in both their names.  Fred and Audrey went canvassing and they both showed all the people skills of a demented rottweiler, with Fred bellowing in the face of a toddler and making him cry.  

WEDNESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 20th and 22nd July 1998

Toyah was feeling patronised and ignored by Spider and his campaign team.  She unburdened herself on Roy and he encouraged her to improve herself.  She complained to Ken that teachers at school didn't take her seriously and didn't teach her about the real world.  He gave her the newspaper and encouraged her to read it.  Meanwhile Janice told Toyah not to bother trying because it wasn't worth it, in a really depressing scene.   Spider, meanwhile, found Audrey's leaflets hilarious with their false promises.  He asked Lorraine to be nice to Curly for his sake and she ended up going to dinner with him.  She found Curly dull but kissed him anyway to be polite.   Maxine planned an exciting weekend away with Greg, hoping that it would reignite their relationship.  She didn't realise that he was busy at the factory diddling Sally Webster up against a sewing machine.  

THURSDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 24th and 26th July 1998

It was election day and Fred thought he had a silver bullet to get rid of the competition.  It turned out Spider had been in prison once, and felons were barred from standing.  A cocky Audrey didn't bother campaigning, only to discover that as Spider's imprisonment was for less than a fortnight for non-payment of a fine, but she won anyway by seven votes.  Spider was depressed at losing but Lorraine confessed she had a crush on him.  Rita returned to work in the Kabin, though her brain was still a little addled, and Alec confessed that her near-death experience made him think that maybe they should be more than friends.  Rita dismissed it though as a reaction to nearly losing her.  Alec still had a go at Steve in the pub, bringing up Vicky, but he fought back and accused Alec of being after Vicky's money himself.  Alec reported Jim and Bill's building firm to the HSE for incorrectly installing Rita's fireplace but she still refused to press charges.  She wanted to move on with her life, and she was annoyed with Alec for going behind her back.  Elsewhere, Ken agreed to tutor Toyah, Kevin suggested Sally work in the garage with him - but she wanted to stay at Underworld - and Mike refused to give Hayley a job as a machinist.  To win him round, Roy bet him £100 that Hayley could out-machine anyone else at Underworld.  If he won, Hayley would get a job.

FRIDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 27th and 29th July 1998

Nicky followed in his father's footsteps by taking on a summer job at the garage.  He almost immediately took his top off for no apparent reason (Nicky Tilsley Shirtless Count: 5).  Hayley went into the factory for her demo and turned out to be an amazing whizz on the machines.  Mike gave her a job immediately but the rest of the girls were annoyed at her speed showing them up.  She did some of their work as well to curry favour.  Alec was sad that Rita wasn't talking to him, and finally apologised.  He confessed he loved her and asked her to marry him, but she refused on the grounds that she didn't trust him.  (The fact that he was once married to her former best mate didn't seem to factor into it).  Ken was thrilled by Toyah's progress, as she enthusiastically read Of Mice and Men, but he worried that she was keeping their lessons a secret from her parents.  Having seen how disgusted Janice was that she was reading a book I'm not surprised.  Sally used a visit to see Rita as an excuse to cop off with Greg in a hotel, but when she was unavailable for another session, he went with Maxine instead.  

To be frank, the author finds Nicky Tilsley with his shirt off repellent.  He looks like he's made of plastic.  Tell me why I'm wrong on Twitter @merseytart.

Classic Corrie is on ITV3 weekday afternoons and is also on the ITV Hub.

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


You might also like...