Thursday, 31 May 2018

Coronation Street Blog interview: Sue Cleaver and Nicola Thorp


With the firm belief that Phelan’s body is at the bottom of the sea, Eileen and Nicola are ready to start afresh, especially now with the arrival of baby Zack. However, their biggest fears are realised when Phelan arrives on their doorstep brandishing his gun...

Both Eileen and Nicola are starting to settle back into normality, both women blissfully unaware that Pat is in fact back on the street. “As far as I’m concerned, I’ve killed him. He’s in the sea in Whitehaven,” said Sue Cleaver (Eileen). “So I think he’s dead, so I’m just trying to get my life back on track and move forward with it.”

“Yes, same with Nicola,” said Nicola Thorp (Nicola). “She’s just had a baby, life’s perfect as far as she’s concerned. She’s asked Eileen to be the Granny to little baby Zack, so yeah, she thinks everything’s going swimmingly after a really traumatic birth. What else could go wrong?”

What else indeed, and the trouble of course does not stop there. Phelan takes on Seb, Nicola, and Eileen to get to baby Zack and will do anything to get to his grandson. When talking about the dramatic scenes, Sue said, “It can be very intense, and it’s very physical as well. Obviously, as an actor, we love doing that.” About relieving the tension after filming such scenes, Nicola said, “It can be quite tense, especially if you’re in one room and there’s that many of you for a long time.”


While Eileen was certain that she had gotten rid of her murderous husband for good, there have been a few moments where Eileen has let her mind wonder whether he would turn up again one day. “A lot of strange things have been happening to her. She even has that phone call where she hears his voice and she wonders if he’s dead. But then the police explain how that could have happened, and she’s reassured by it.”

“Nicola has a couple of moments,” Nicola says. “There are a couple of scenes where we say to each other, ‘they never found the body’, and then we go, ‘no, don’t be ridiculous.’ But when you don’t find the body, there is always that question in the back of their minds of, ‘what if?’ But then when he does arrive, it’s like, ‘oh god, no way.’”

When Eileen comes face to face with Phelan again, he’s not hesitant to let his wife know that he never felt anything real for her. “Phelan loves you until you turn against him, and then that’s it,” Sue told us. “To be honest, I don’t think in that moment, it didn’t register with me what he was saying. I was more concerned about Zack and Nicola."

Nicola said, “I do remember reading it thinking, ‘is that hurting me as a reader more than maybe her as a character?’ As an audience you go, ‘that’s so hurtful.’”

Despite the dark drama that’s taking over the street this week, it’s great to see that the episodes have a surprising amount of humour in them, the balance is perfect. Nicola told us she was surprised by how funny the episodes were, and carried on to say, “I just thought that maybe this week wouldn’t have those elements in it, you know, because of the drama. But what they’ve managed to weave so well together is the comedy. I mean, Gail always has something funny to say after something tragic or dramatic, and I live for those moments.”


Nicola and Sue were absolutely lovely to sit down with and talk about what’s coming up for Eileen and Nicola. Tune in tonight and tomorrow to find out how they deal with the arrival of Phelan!

Sophie Williams

Read some more of my general natterings on Twitter @sophie_jw26




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