It’s no secret to disappointed Coronation Street fans that Chris Gascoyne is leaving his role as Peter Barlow in coming months – and his co-star Alison King shares your sadness!
It’s no wonder either; the pair have worked closely for years, portraying a fiery, complex and passionate relationship and marriage between Carla Connor and her husband.
Over the years, they have portrayed difficulties with issues including alcoholism and psychosis, and the chemistry of the stars is clear.
Chris was recently confirmed to be in for an exit as he takes on other roles; but thankfully a very final ending such as death has been ruled out, with the actor far from ruling out a return in the future.
For now, though, Alison has shared her thoughts on the departure in an exclusive interview with Metro.co.uk.
‘It’s always sad without Chris but it’ll be alright,’ she told us. ‘He’s my husband! It’ll be okay. We’re such good friends now that we’re in each other’s lives and at home. Caroline [Chris’s wife] will take care of him for me!’
Chris isn’t the only one having goodbye to the cobbles either, with Todd Boyce hanging up killer Stephen Reid’s holepunch. Having been involved in very intense scenes with the actor, Alison also shared her feelings on his exit, insisting that she will be staying in touch with him.
‘I will never have to say goodbye to Todd, because now I’ve got his number! I love him so much. Obviously, Carla can’t stand Stephen, it couldn’t be more opposite in real life, I think he’s amazing.
Funny she should say that – as Carla will be instrumental in a final week of episodes, which see Stephen’s criminal world collapse, and the truth come out.
Whether he gets his comeuppance, and in what capacity, remains to be seen – but Alison is thrilled with how the episodes have turned out.
Having joined Metro.co.uk in a viewing of the final stand-off, she enthused: ‘It was the first time I’ve seen it! Obviously, it’s been a long time coming, this build up, I’ve been working very closely with Todd who’s just blown me away!
‘There wasn’t a man in the world who’s worked as much as him this last kind of year and a half, two years, he didn’t moan, he didn’t say anything, he just got on with it which is amazing.
‘It was fun and brilliant to work alongside him, and me and Tina [O’Brien, who plays Sarah], we just have a laugh, there wasn’t much funny in that episode but behind the scenes it was great. Jam packed!
‘There were lots of different elements and I wondered how they would work, so now actually seeing it, it’s all fitted together really well.’
What Stephen did to Carla was despicable, as he had spiked her with LSD, causing her to believe her psychosis had returned and sending her mental health spiralling.
Addressing this turn of events, Alison mused: ‘I thought it was an interesting choice [Stephen drugging Carla with LSD]. It shows how, even though he wanted to believe he wasn’t a twisted character, he was a bit like Rumpelstiltskin! That was very much pre-meditated.
‘It shows that Stephen’s core is evil, it couldn’t have been more pre-meditated. It was different, because the medic guy who told me what it would be like with LSD, he was different from the psychosis experts who helped me through that storyline.
They were saying, it just depends on what state your mind is in when you consume the LSD.
‘If you are not expecting it, it’s just going to make you angsty and anxious. I was thinking, am I playing this right?’
She added reflectively: ‘I liked the way they took it, it’s one thing you don’t want to go back to. It was a great experience to tell that story, but it’s something in real life that somebody would be petrified about going down that rabbit hole again. I’m glad I’m not doing it all the time!’
The episodes kick off next week, and Carla is in the thick of the action. With Peter also fighting her corner against Stephen, fans will be pleased to be seeing plenty of scenes of them together.
We will have to make the most of it, as Peter’s goodbye will come around much quicker than we’d like!
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