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

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Imran DIES In Dramatic Car Crash! Corrie Blog Interviews Charlie De Melo

So there you are - the secret is out! Back at the beginning of May I attended an ITV Coronation Street online press conference and interviewed quite a few of the cast - the big surprise was chatting with Charlie De Melo and learning of Imran’s death. The crash and funeral have been filmed, with nothing leaked to the press, so I hope you are as surprised as I was when I first heard the news!  

In this final Corrie blog interview for big soap week, we chat to Charlie De Melo to learn all about Imran’s death, his time on Coronation Street, and his dream exit plot. 

Hi Charlie, Imran’s death comes as a massive shock - it doesn't look like he’s injured at all! How does it feel to say goodbye to the character after four and a half years? 

It's uncanny and a strange feeling. The final week itself had a lot of effort put into it, a real Corrie team effort - the scale was huge! It felt like an impending burden for me, to get it right, and the fact that it seemed to go well, and for Georgia (Taylor, Toyah Battersby) to be happy with it, meant a lot. Toyah’s next phase follows directly from this, so it was important to get it right 

What prompted your decision to leave Coronation Street? 

It was a multitude of things. The first few years I did actually find difficult, to be honest, and when I had the option to renew my 2-year contract, I made the decision then that it was a chance to end my time in Manchester and move on to pastures new. A failed experiment maybe, to move and join a job like this, but then covid struck and it was the sensible choice to stay. Imran’s storylines then became rather joyous, working with Millie (Gibson, Kelly Neelan) and Georgia. I then rather enjoyed it but then realised that if I stayed, I could be there forever. With no personal responsibilities, I decided to take a risk. If not now, then when, and maybe never, so I took the plunge. I don't have kids, or a wife, or anything, so without sounding callous, I thought it was the best time to take that risk.

How did you feel when you found out that Imran would be killed off? 

On a zoom call with Georgia, just before Christmas of 2021, I was told and we were given a rundown of what was coming up. We wanted a sense of what was going on, and I started to feel quite precious about Imran, and I wanted to do this real justice. We had a chat with Iain (Macleod, Corrie exec producer) and he gave us a real in-depth overview of Imran's internal character and eventual decline. Once the news settled in, I kinda got paranoid about them writing me out, but they assured me that it wasn't an easy decision for them. and Imran's options were limited by this point in the story. It's a new beginning for Georgia Taylor, Sally Carman (Abi), and Micheal Le Vell (Kevin), I think. 

Imran has gone on quite the journey on Coronation Street. He was the hero of the hour during Yasmeen’s trial and Geoff’s court scenes. Did you ever imagine that he would go from hero to zero, so quickly? 

I doubt I would have pitched it as something I imagined happening, but, that the same impetus he had, in the defence of Yasmeen and Kelly, is the same thing that is driving him now. He is now on a different side to those heroic moments that he once had - it does make sense. It's just the way that the character is being presented that has changed. It shows a different side to Imran. 

How has the reaction been on social media and when you're out and about? 

Yes, there has been some vitriol to it, but thankfully it was something that I haven't needed to get used to. What I have noticed, and something that I am grateful for is the distinction between fans slating Imran, rather than having a pop at me. I'm not very thick-skinned, and it's been more on a character level, so I am grateful for that. 

What have been your highlights from working on the show? 

The stuff for the 60th anniversary is a real feather in my cap. I don't watch myself in anything, but I have seen that twice, and it came together really well. It was my first time being involved in something of that magnitude so a real honour. I enjoyed the daft stuff, like when Imran was sleeping with both Toyah and Leanne, and a wine-tasting at the bistro with Peter Gunn (Brian Packham) and making wine puns all the time - the man is so funny. It would be quicker to countdown the days that I didn't enjoy, it's the best place to work. My list of highlights is a long one! 

Have you taken any Imran keepsakes away with you? 

I've taken a few bits that aren't specific to Imran, I've got a rovers beer mat and a Roys Rolls placeholder. I'm also beneficiary of the costume department having to spread themselves around the building for covid compliance, hence them having no space. They told me I’d be doing them a real favour if I took away all of Imran’s clothes!! I'm also still wearing Imran’s wedding ring, which I haven’t taken off. It's costume jewellery but now it's mine.  

Do you have any career plans now for the future? 

I am ambitious in my way. I'm ambitious but also directionless. I'm not one of those people that needs to have a career path, as such, have any plans as such. It would be a shorter list of things I don't want to do. Not to be disparaging, but I wouldn't want to do another job in a soap. I wouldn't be working with the same people, such as Georgia, Sally, or Millie. It couldn't match or beat Corrie! 

A final question then. Imran never found out the truth about Rana’s death. Would that have been something that you would have liked to have worked on? 

Yes, I think so. I’ve said this to Georgia when I told her I was leaving, and I envisaged what Imran’s final scene would be. At some point, Imran finds out about Gary’s responsibility for the factory roof collapse and invites him to the roof, it's raining, Gary climbs up the ladder, they have a scuffle, and Imran falls to his death. It flies in the face of Gary’s redemption though so wouldn't have worked. 

Thanks go to Charlie, and we wish him all the best for the future. 

One of the many joys of attending Coronation Street online press days (as a superfan, I cannot tell you how lucky I feel) is backstage gossip. Another side of it is if a big storyline is revealed early!! You get to learn about it weeks in advance, hear the cast talk about it all exclusively, and then keep it a secret! 

I know spoilers are a polarising emotional seesaw for soap fans, but I love them, and as your superfan Corrie blogger, it has happened to me a few times now. Learning about Luke Britton’s murder, via a poster on the Rovers Return wall (during a private set tour) was the best, and being sworn to secrecy is all part of the parcel! We are embargoed by Corrie press, and as a Corrie blogger, it’s not only a privilege to be privy to it, but, well, I wouldn't want to spoil it, or get in trouble with Corrie hierarchy!! Can you imagine? I bet they'd send in Gary Windass to finish me off! Jokes aside, it's always a pleasure and this press day secret was a card kept close to my chest for nearly a month! 

Right from the start of his story arc, Imran was a character of questionable morals. Introduced as Rana's brother, he'd cheated on his wife Sabine and become embroiled in romancing both of the Battersby sisters before settling with Toyah. It was of little surprise that he fathered Abi's illicit child, and his downfall began. Corrie has a long-held history of killing off bad boys, Imran Habeeb follows a long line of them. It's also been a long storyline, following Seb's death, and maybe, just maybe, this is the start of a peaceful time for Abi? I guess Gary Windass can breathe a sigh of relief too? Rana's death remains covered up, so it seems that Gary may be the exception to the bad boy rule? I think about these things far too much, but I wouldn't be a good Corrie blogger if I didn't, eh?

@rybaoxo Corrie connoisseur and Coronation Street superfan 

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Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that the truth about Rana's death will never come out as she seems to be forgotten even by her own brother.
I assumed that Imram would have been killed off by Gary[who gets away with it again!]after he finally find out the truth about Rana's death but before he could go to the police not being killed off in a car accident that Toyah may have caused due to Imram comfessing to her how he framed Abi to get custody of Alfie.
Now that Imram is dead,surely this means that Abi will get custody of her son?

Jeanie said...

Jeanie (anon) Too bad about Imran. Wish the powers that be had let him leave the show without dying so he could have come back. He and Toyah were great together--very believable as a couple. I loved Spider but he was her teenage love; Imran was well-suited as her adult passion (much better chemistry than Toyah and Peter too). Don't like the way they cheapened his character before he left--turning him into a dim-witted, two bit villain. Why do they have to do that?! Then his sudden and quite unlikely confession...

The street has turned out to be disastrous for this family. The only consolation is that they're the ones that tried to sell Rana into marriage, so I guess we don't need to feel for them at losing both children to highly unlikely accidents!


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