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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Interview- Gareth Pierce: Where Todd goes, trouble isn't far behind

Todd Grimshaw, now played by Gareth Pierce, is set to return to Weatherfield with a bang this week. 
After fleeing the street three years ago, Todd's back and he's brought a substantial amount of trouble with him. I was very excited to be on the Zoom call with Gareth, chatting all about what hot water Todd's managed to land himself in this time, and how he will rebuild his lost relationships. 

"He's arriving under a bit of a cloud", Gareth said. "He's been making use of his aborted law qualification but not in the most ethical way. He got himself tied up with some Manchester gangsters and I think, like a lot of people when they're in over their heads, he's come home to his mum."

When Eileen discovers a note from Todd, she goes to meet him in secret and is relieved to find him alive. However, she makes an error in mentioning that she's been asked to go and identify a body. As was talked about in Sue Cleaver's interview, which you can read here, Mary and George decide to hold a sham funeral to try and persuade gangster Mick that Todd is really dead. Todd is pressuring Eileen to identify the body as him and also to attend his funeral, of which Eileen is horrified to even consider. 

Gareth said, "I think that Todd's able to dissociate himself sometimes from his actions and not always immediately empathise with the people that it could be affecting. It's opportunism, really. He sees a way out and he's not really considering the effect on anyone else's family that might be affected by it." 

Because Todd has such a rich history on the street, he has many relationships that have been disrupted because of his absence. However, Todd is on a mission to put this right, especially with Billy Mayhew. 

"His love for those key people in his life is there and is absolutely genuine. Meeting Billy again for the first time is going to be a big moment as well, I think."

Since Todd left, Billy has been in a somewhat rocky relationship with Paul Foreman, but could that change with Todd back on the scene? 

"He definitely sees the way Paul has potentially become a replacement for Todd in Billy's life, and Summer's life.

"Dan [Brocklebank] and I had been working hard on making sure that we got on and we've been spending a lot of time together and having a great laugh and stuff. When we got to do those scenes where they're reunited, the emotion, the real kind of gut-wrenching feel of those crept up on us, actually. 

"We got some real, genuine tears and emotion that came quite naturally. We were encouraged by George, one of our directors in that block, to really go with that and explore that and I think it's been a real wonderful moment in recementing the relationship. 

"It's showing just how much it meant to both of them and it was a nice little chink in Todd's armour where we got to see him, or hopefully get to see him genuinely vulnerable and effected by his love for Billy in a sense of what he's lost. There's shame mixed up in there as well. He's let Summer down, and he needs to rebuild those bridges."

While Todd used to work with Adam at his law firm, Todd is going to explore other avenues career-wise. "The big thing about Todd is that he's a blagger; you can see him turning his hand at quite a few jobs or ways of making a living", said Gareth. 

"In terms of what we're shooting at the moment, without giving too much away, one of the other relationship's he's looking to rescue is that one with Sarah. Their closeness is coming back and he's able to, actually, via that, get a job at Underworld. 

"That's nice because it's rebuilding that relationship with Sarah, it's giving an opportunity for us to carry on with the Todd/Sean dynamic as well; me and Antony are having loads of fun with that, we're taking the mick out of each other just as much as offset as Todd and Sean are onset, so that's working really well. 

"Also, it puts Todd in Paul's orbit, as well. Todd's an annoyance to Paul."

Given Todd's history with Billy, it would be easy to assume that he'd hate everything about Paul, but it's not quite as straightforward as that. Gareth said, "It's quite complicated. Yes, [Paul's] an obstacle to Todd and Billy being reunited but I think Todd can also see how much Billy loves Paul and how good Paul is with Summer and they're two people that Todd really, really cares about."

Todd was never going to come quietly and he has a lot to deal with back in Weatherfield. But how will everyone react to seeing him again after all this time? And how will he worm his way out of the sticky situation with Mick the gangster? 

Sophie Williams

Read some more of my general natterings on Twitter @soph_journo

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's hope his return if nothing else brings an end to the god awful and chemistry free relationship that is Billy and Paul. Billy has always been a likable character played by a very competent actor but his current relationship has to be one of the worst portrayals of a couple the street has ever seen and they would be much better characters apart.

Best of luck to Gareth in his new role, Bruno always gave such warmth to Todd, even when he was at his most unlikable.


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