Helen Worth reflects on her character Gail's well-meaning, but trouble-making habit of interfering in her family's lives, and how the fallout from Lewis and Audrey's split will affect her.
Question: Why does Gail feel she has to interfere in her family’s lives?
Answer: Gail just can’t help herself really, their lives are all closely linked, Gail works in the Bistro with Nick, David and Kylie work in Audrey’s salon so they really are a close family unit whether they like it or not. You cannot keep a secret for long in her family. She always believes that her advice or actions are for the best even if other members of the family don’t see it that way.
Q: How does Gail feel when her and Gloria’s plot to expose Lewis as a conman backfires?
A: Gail feels justified in trying to set up Lewis, she even tells her mother that she has no qualms about it. He feels that if Lewis falls into the trap they have set then they are justified in plotting against him. However, if he does not take the bait it will prove to them all that despite his past, Lewis is the genuine article and she would be happy for Audrey that this is the case. Gail is quite defensive when the plan backfires and Lewis learns that he was being set up. She sees it as giving him a taste of his own medicine.
Q: How bad does she feel about ruining things for her mum and Lewis?
A: She doesn't show Audrey much sympathy. In fact, she rather curtly reminds Audrey that she covered Lewis’s debt to his ex-girlfriend Penny, and that Lewis has walked away from her. The note Lewis leaves Audrey makes no mention or even thanks for clearing this debt off for him. Gail believes Lewis is a player and always will be.
Q: Is she certain she was wrong about Lewis now or are there doubts?
A: Gail has never really taken to Lewis, she has never really trusted him at all, but he does appear really hurt by the whole plot to set him up. There is a moment in the Rovers where Lewis tells Audrey that he will only stay in Weatherfield long enough to repay the debt he owes her and Audrey is really upset. Lewis spells out to her that Gail’s meddling in their relationship has put paid to any future he may have had with Audrey. Gail sees how much he meant to Audrey and even Gail becomes a bit upset herself, so I think that point is a bit of a turning point in her viewpoint of Lewis. Maybe she has been judging him a bit too harshly.
Q: Audrey's inconsolable as he finds out she was in on the scheme… how does Gail feel?
A: Gail feel really bad, she did not think for one minute that Lewis would not fall into the trap set for him. So when he doesn’t and then later finds out that Audrey and ends his relationship with her mum she realises that it has all gone very badly wrong. She even attempts to apologise to Lewis and tells him she is ashamed of her actions.
Q: Lewis sets Gloria up and humiliates her… is Gail worried he’ll take revenge on her next?
A: Well, she was in cahoots with Gloria to set Lewis up, so when Lewis humiliates Gloria it does cross Gail’s mind that she could be next in the firing line. They do say revenge is a dish best served cold so Lewis could be biding his time before setting Gail up for a fall. Lewis does tell Gloria that has dealt with her and will now turn his attentions to Gail.
Q: How desperate is Gail to make things right between her mum and Lewis?
A: At first she is not that guilty but as the days go by and he sees how her action have affected Lewis’s life, she does begin to think she must do her best to make amends and try and fix the mess she has caused. Lewis picks up on this and makes her feel even worse every chance he gets. She has at this point changed her opinion of him and thinks he is a decent guy at heart.
Q: How does Gail feel when Lewis hands her money to repay his debt to Audrey?
A: Lewis really is playing the martyr and milks these moments to make Gail feel as uncomfortable as possible, she really decides that if he is going to these lengths to get Audrey her money back then he must be genuine.
Q: Does she now believe his feelings for Audrey are genuine?
A: Yes, she does now believe that Lewis really does have the best intentions towards Audrey. She firmly believes that she had got it wrong in ever doubting Lewis.
Q: Audrey tells Gail she will never forgive her – how does that make Gail feel?
A: She just feels she has made a whole mess of the situation, Gail was only trying to do her best and protect Audrey but her actions have led to the pair falling out and Audrey being left lonely and broken hearted. Audrey’s harsh words in telling Gail that she will never forgive her serves to strengthen Gail’s resolve to rectify the hurt she has caused.
Q: She finds out Lewis has pawned his father’s watch to raise cash – what does she do?
A: Gail knows that it has taken a lot for Lewis to pawn such a treasured family heirloom so she visits the pawnbrokers and buys the watch back for Lewis and attempts to give him back as a grand gesture of goodwill.
Q: Does it cross her mind that Lewis is plotting to get his revenge on her?
A: No, not really. When Gail returns Lewis father’s watch she feels that they are equal and that she has made amends for her ever doubting him. Gail thinks that this gesture as well her apology should even the stakes between the pair but has she grossly underestimated Lewis?
Q: Will this make Gail think twice about interfering in people’s relationships in the future?
A: I think it will short term but I am confident that when the next occasion arises where she can stick her oar into other people’s business she probably will. She really can’t help herself can she. She would not be Gail if he bit her tongue and let people get on with their own lives. She likes to have an opinion and she likes other people to know what that opinion is.
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