The past few months on Corrie has begun to peel away some of the many layers of the ruinous combination that is Kirsty and Tyrone. The violence, the emotional scars Kirsty bears from her upbringing, the physical scars Tyrone bears. But what of his emotional scars? In the coming weeks and months the rollercoaster between them will continue, and we will see a small part of how Tyrone manages to cope with the devastation of having a violent and manipulative partner.
Up until last week, Alan and I had little insight into an abusive relationship, and as much as we hoped our portrayal was realistic, the only way we could justify the destructive chemistry between us was to acknowledge that we were able to decide how our respective characters would behave or react in any given situation - our understanding went no deeper.
That was until we were fortunate enough to meet one of the patrons of the charity ManKind, Ian McNicholl - himself a victim of domestic abuse. Ian's story has previously been covered in the press, but hearing his perspective first hand was chilling, and a reminder not only that what the viewer sees of Tyrone and Kirsty's relationship is only a fraction of what goes on, but of the responsibility that all of us at Coronation Street have as a team to represent this issue in a sensitive manner. Ian told us that calls to the ManKind helpline shot through the roof after the airing of one our violent scenes, a sign perhaps that many viewers bear deep emotional as well as physical scars, just like Tyrone.
How long can Tyrone bear the pressure of suffering in silence alone, and can their relationship survive the abuse she is subjecting him to? The forgiving soul that Tyrone is desperately wants to, and he broaches the possibility of rehabilitation through counselling with Kirsty. Although she is intelligent and and aware that her behaviour stems from her father, she is in no hurry to face her demons, for as much as she hates herself for what she is doing, she has also subconsciously learned many of her father's behavioural patterns which we will see time and time again. The jealousy, the possessiveness, the poor self control and extremes of emotion. And in some ways worst of all, the externalising of blame. Like the playground bully who tries to make those around them feel small and weak, Kirsty is the biggest coward of all.
Many of you will know by now how fervently I have hated wearing my ever increasing baby bump - I'm still deciding between a burning ceremony, or dancing upon aforementioned bump when the day finally comes that I don't have to wear it anymore. But the arrival of a third person in Kirsty and Tyrone's relationship will change the dynamic between them even further, and baby Dobbs is in danger of becoming a pawn in Kirsty's poisonous game that tragically, she doesn't realise she's playing..
Tyrone and Kirsty's Storyline page
Watch a video interview with Natalie