All Corrie spoilers from soap boss: Yasmeen's ending, huge secrets, big return
Coronation Street boss Iain MacLeod has candidly revealed a huge array of spoilers to come over the next months in the soap – with Yasmeen Nazir’s (Shelley King) ordeal at the hands of Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholomew) escalating to court, Shona Ramsey (Julia Goulding) back with a dramatic new story and a big secret from Carla Connor (Alison King) revealed.
Elsewhere in the show, the net closes in on sinister Gary Windass (Mikey North) as old secrets are unearthed while the difficult journeys of Asha Alahan (Tanisha Gorey) and Gemma Winter (Dolly-Rose Campbell) take on new paths.
Here is everything he has to say when Metro.co.uk joined him for a chat – there’s a lot of exciting drama to come!
Iain on the reaction to the Geoff and Yasmeen story
‘Some of the reaction has been difficult to hear as people have been in touch directly, including with myself and Shelley, to say how it has mirrored our life. It’s sobering but I am glad it means we have approached it with some authenticity.
‘Other viewers didn’t have any idea about coercive abuse and some think that abuse characteristically involves violence. This is why we set out to tell the story. Twitter just blew up on Friday – it seems to have a really struck a chord. It’s a very tough watch but to sanitise it or give a half hearted version would be wrong and insulting to people have gone through it. We aware it would be challenging but I think we got it right.’
On what is next for Yasmeen
‘Yasmeen is in a world of trouble – we are quite keen to show that while she attacked him, we didn’t want to short circuit her psychology and complex emotions. This came from research – even if you finally have snapped, it doesn’t mean that you don’t still have this insidious character under your skin. It’s a slow road for her to see it was abuse.
‘She will wrestle with what she has done and her friends and family try to lead her out of the darkness and show her that Geoff is not the victim, he is the perpetrator. It sucks in loads of characters – Alya and Sally are very pivotal. She has never been Geoff’s biggest fan and she is among the first to have seen what goes on behind closed doors – this provides huge material for her and Tim.
‘Tim has been gaslighted since birth so he and Sally are on separate sides and there are tensions that are created as they have polar opposite views. It will continue to be brilliantly acted by the exceptional Shelley and Ian which hasn’t come as any surprise. A lot of the feedback we have had is to say how authentic this is and how resonate they have been. The story will continue to showcase their talents.’
On whether we will explore Geoff’s past
‘Yes we will. It would be highly unlikely that Geoff had never committed these behaviours previously. What we have discovered from our research is that perpetrators have a cyclical pattern of behaviour. They lure someone in with lovebombing and grand gestures and that gradually gives way over time.
‘They then move onto someone else so it’s right we look back at Geoff’s previous relationships and see he has done this before. We will really explore Geoff and Tim’s backstory. It’s a good opportunity to find out about Tim’s family background. Lots of family saga stuff to come.’
On when Geoff will get his comeuppance
‘The timelines have been shunted due to the lockdown but I think it’s fair to imagine that it will be this year. What form that comeuppance is is in discussion. We wanted a redemptive ending for Yasmeen obviously and the toughest it’s going to get for her is over the next months.
‘It’s towards the end of the year but the key thing is to impart the right message. For the sake of the people it has impacted we have to tell the right ending with some positivity.
‘There’s a large chapter to come with Geoff’s turmoil being unable to control Yasmeen. We never want to excuse Geoff’s behaviour or illicit any sympathy for him – but we will explore psychological elements to an abuser. Geoff does not find it easy having Yasmeen out of his sphere of influence as the legal proceedings go on.’
On if there could be any redemption for Geoff
‘Typically abusers of this type do not get better so it would be dangerous to redeem Geoff and god willing anyone as evil as Geoff could change, but most cases don’t see the perpetrator just changing the error of their ways.
‘ I would never want to give any real abusers in the world an opportunity to say “well look at Geoff, he can change his life around.” It would be a dangerous position to say that the abuser in the story is better when in most realities they aren’t.’
On whether the show was looking for another Free The Weatherfield One
‘Not a single viewer wants to see her behind bars. I’m not going to have t-shirts printed – it wasn’t designed with that in mind – but of course, everyone wants to see justice served.’
On whether Geoff’s first love interest Audrey was originally planned as his target
‘Audrey wasn’t ever in the firing line – we did drift them past each other. Obviously Geoff’s arrival pre-dates mine but it was always planned to be Yasmeen I think.’
On what’s next for David and Shona
‘At the bottom of it all is a love story really – it’s interesting to see two characters who have been in love for years have to fall in love all over again when one has had a brain damage that has changed their personality.
‘They work best as sparky and funny so there will be comedy but her feelings are absent and there’s no emotional attachment – it will be a bumpy road. It’s not love at first sight when she sees him – for his part, David’s challenge is to make her fall back in love with him.
‘But she’s also a different proposition too so he also has to fall back in love with her. Nobody has a long term desire to split them up so they will have a happy ending. They’re like cheese and crackers – none are good without the other. But it’s a very unique and emotionally complicated story.
‘What we wanted to show was the complicated psychology that David has got. He thinks he is just raising hell and enjoying taking the risk – under neath though, it’s self destructive.
‘A little bit of him doesn’t care about his own safety because he has lost the woman that he loves. That self destructive element felt like a high octane way of exploring grief rather than sitting at home with a six pack of lager. It felt very David.’
On if there will be a second wedding
‘It’s certainly been discussed – that’s the most poignant thing about it. To Shona the wedding pictures she has been shown are just two strangers dancing in the bistro. What we want to do is ensure that it feels like a love story so we need some kind of warm ending – or a confetti moment for the audience to punch the air with joy.’
On whether Clayton will be back again
Not in our current thinking – not in a long term way.
On what’s next for Gemma
‘I’ve loved that story – Dolly Rose is a great actress. We throw a lot of comedy nonsense at her but through this she has shown a lot of pathos. She and Sam have this classic Corrie double act going on. Gemma’s story will be heartbreaking and Bernie will become her saviour in her way – it’s her chance to redeem herself. She’s by her side.
‘She’s a rock for her – there’s lots of great stuff to come and there will be some positivity, Gemma will come through this with a new level of appreciation and love for her mum. And she will go onto being a good mum to quads – I’m not saying she won’t feed them turkey twizzlers and let them watch Nightmare on Elm Street at age 11 – Gemma will always make mistakes. But she will eventually come to believe in herself.’
On Gary’s next chapter
‘Gary has done some dastardly things in his time. He still has a heart – so when Kelly turns up, he feels like he has caused this kid’s life to be ruined and his selfless gene kicks back in. But that arouses suspicion in his rivals – when they discover it’s Rick’s kid which precipitates an explosion for Sarah, Adam and Gary ahead of the wedding in summer.’
On whether Gary use Callum’s death against Sarah
‘Yes, in a way, that’s certainly part of the scripts. Gary isn’t the only one to have disposed of a body – I can’t say much but it will be significant.’
On whether Gary has to leave the show
‘Gary is complicated and has a messed up evolution and Mikey is a terrific actor. He has tried to become that family man but his life constantly implodes and he is back into those criminal roots he emerged from. I don’t want the ejector button pressed on this yet.’
On whether it’s truly over for Sarah and Gary
‘To what extent is it ever over when you have loved someone that much? Their complicated feelings will cause them headaches and leave big decisions. There are no plans to get back together but it’s that thing where they’re on the end of an invisible line of elastic – they are stuck in each other’s orbits and the emotions will never go away.
‘There’s a fine line between love and hate. I think she loves Adam and Gary loves Maria but they will never truly get over each other. Everything he ever did was for Sarah and that has spilled over into some resentment – deep down, he has thought, if only you knew the things I did to protect you. That has coloured his less than gallant behaviour towards her.’
On Carla’s big secret
‘It’s not Ray or Scott – we have yet to meet them. It pertains to when she went missing during her mental health crisis. We wanted to visit that when she is back on an even keel psychologically.
‘We saw glimpses – with the hotel – it was an interesting development to reveal something we didn’t know previously. We meet two people we haven’t met before but who emerge from Carla’s story – and that leads to someone else on the street revealing their true colours.
‘Peter and Carla and the Burton and Taylor of the cobbles – at their best at their most explosive. They have big, heartrending challenges to overcome. What he discovers is a hard thing to swallow but ultimately he will be all the more proud of her and love her all the more. But they have a rocky road ahead.’
On how Corrie will tackle the COVID-19 issue
‘Scripts are changing at the time – we have talked a lot about whether Coronation Street would exist in a parallel world or had a coronavirus in it. The Coronation Street we love reflects modern Britain albeit heightened. So to not reference it wouldn’t feel right.
‘It has to exist but people also tune in for escapism and to see dramatic stories and stuff they don’t normally see in their own lives. The virus will exist but we’d be keen for it not to dominate everyone’s lives. It’s the only conversation in my house – but people don’t want to see that as the only topic of conversation on screen.
‘We will see it reflected in how businesses are run, hand washing and the way people behave but we will still tell dramatic storylines and a dollop of comedy as we don’t want to lose what the show is. Our storytelling is business as usual.
‘Coronation Street won’t stop being funny, not on my watch! But the reaction to the Geoff and Yasmeen story has been huge and has had a bigger impact in stories in 2-3 years. But people also want to watch hardhitting storylines and drama – people find it reassuring that they know what Corrie is and we don’t want to change it.
‘I thought about what people would want to watch and I wrote about the cinema industry at the start of the war. They thought people would want to watch whimsy because of the war but at the end of the war, people really wanted to watch war films.
‘So it’s not true to say that people can’t cope with hard hitting stories even if something horrible is going on in the world. In the best tradition of Corrie stories, there is also the optimism of overcoming adversity where the good guys win in the end.’
On what’s next for Asha, Dev and Nina
‘It has a way to go – it’s a long term direction for Asha as a struggle with her self esteem. Nina will be a brilliant friend. Nina is used to people talk about her and look at her and she owns her life and life story. So she is instrumental in helping Asha put herself together mentally.
‘Dev’s struggle is understandable – this is his little girl. He just wants to wade in when she is in this hellish adult world. He tries his best – with some input from Nina who shifts his attitude to what Asha has done.
‘It’s an interesting and timely story – part of the story is about the video getting out onto the internet and it’s not going way. Our research has told us that these videos being taken down can take months and years and then they just pop up somewhere else – it’s a real eye opener.
‘It’s a scary story but hopefully it might give some of the audience pause for thought around hitting record on a video call. Tanisha is such a fantastically good actor and the friendship with Nina is really sweet. As soon as you see them in scenes together, you realise you want to see more’
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