Now, ladies and gentlemen. I believe that the last time we met, Kirsty had crashed her police vehicle into the back of Tyrone's car after she believed he and Tina were on a date. She has since discovered she is pregnant with Tyrone's baby, broken off their relationship, forced Tommy and Tina out of the house with her manipulation, become engaged to Tyrone, and then managed to behave herself for all of five minutes. But this is crazy Kirsty we're talking about here – can her good behaviour last? Of course not, that would be boring!
What keeps Tyrone putting up with Kirsty's unpredictable, difficult ways? We all know what a lovely, gentle-natured man he is (and Alan Halsall cannot hear enough of being cited as a national treasure), and how he sees the best in everyone. But as you may know, he becomes a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of Kirsty, and for now at least, he stays with her. Having a family means the world to him, and the fact that she is carrying his child means he puts up with worse behaviour than he otherwise would. The tragedy of Kirsty though, and perhaps a lot of people with a personality disorder like hers, is that she has so much going for her, and could be a nice person if she wasn't so damaged by her past. She has already explained that her jealousy issues stem from the betrayal of her boyfriend having an affair with her best friend, and in upcoming episodes we will see the arrival of Kirsty's parents. There is a very clear correlation between her father's behaviour towards her, and her behaviour towards Tyrone; therein the circle of abuse continues.
Kirsty and Tyrone are a great couple a lot of the time – they are partners in crime who are very much in love – which is partly what leads to Kirsty's downfall. When Tyrone implores Kirsty to help him foil Terry Duckworth's plans, she is won over by his passion and strength of feeling. But Kirsty cannot resist taking things a step too far, which results in her losing her job in the police. In her mind, all blame falls at Tyrone's feet, and the things she loves about him become the things that incense her in her moments of white hot rage.
I've described in several interviews how this storyline has affected me; I knew it was on the horizon, but reading the scripts for the first time made my heart plummet to my stomach with the dark prospect of what we had to represent. The actions of Kirsty are beyond my comprehension, and it has been extremely uncomfortable to be in her shoes. The first time she hits him was a very traumatic day for me – even though I didn't actually hit Alan, the intensity of emotion we both reached was such that I left the set shaking – it took a cup of tea and and a kitkat made by Mr Halsall himself to calm me down (yep, he's lovely in real life too!). When I got home, I slept for three hours in the middle of the afternoon and awoke still drained from the day's events.
Our safety is a basic human right, and one that we take for granted unless that human right is breached. Alan and I are able to leave Kirsty and Tyrone on set at the end of the day, but this storyline will hopefully raise awareness for those who aren't so lucky.
Watch a video interview with Natalie