Coming Up: Rana has an important decision to make, Peter's in trouble and will Gemma agree to Henry's plan?
After failing to buy Gemma the Rovers, Henry has a confession to make. We spoke to George Banks about Henry and Gemma's relationship and what that means for the future.
How genuine are Henry’s feelings for Gemma, a few weeks ago he did have a fiancè?
He did but I think he loves Gemma, he risked a lot by choosing to be with her. I think his engagement to Cressida was an arranged agreement between the families and one he was never really happy with. The time he had with Gemma previously was the probably the happiest time he’s ever had.
They had an unusual start to their relationship, do you think Henry’s feelings for Gemma have grown?
I think we saw a touch of that before he left, he had the bet with Hugo but when Hugo started to press him about Gemma and make fun of her we saw Henry defend her, it was just a shame Gemma never got to hear that before she found out the truth about the bet.
What sort of reaction did you get on the street after that initial stint?
One of the weirdest ones I had was the first time someone recognised me as Henry and I was in the bank in a queue and a lady sidled up next to me and said ‘ooh you’re a swine aren’t you’. I was a bit puzzled at first, then when she said ‘what you’ve done to Gemma’ it clicked. There was nothing vicious, but people were not best pleased with what he was up to when he was first around.
At the point Henry’s come back the audience can see something growing between Chesney and Gemma, is Henry aware of that?
Henry doesn’t see Chesney as a threat whatsoever. Because they had a fight the last time Henry was around, probably the first punch Henry’s ever thrown, he’s aware Chesney sees himself as Gemma’s protector but I don’t think he believes there’s a romantic connection, certainly not from Gemma’s point of view.
Gemma is quickly head over heels again, and even manages to forgive Henry for not buying her the Rovers, are they going to live happily ever after?
I think they could but Henry is hiding something. What’s nice about them is when he came back he thought he needed to win her over with these fancy gestures but actually after that has all died down we’ve seen how well they work together and the relationship they could have. Henry’s had a very privileged upbringing and as a result he's been quite sheltered and grown up with a sense of entitlement, whereas Gemma’s had to work hard for everything so in that respect she’s the antithesis of him but they work well together, they learn from each other, he’s helping Gemma understand her value and she’s making him see the value of hard work. But Henry’s going to be faced with some pretty tough choices and we’ll have to see if he makes the right ones.
Henry’s looking over his shoulder as his past catches up with him, he needs money and he cottons on to the fact that Rita has some. As we see Henry attempt to con Rita do you think this is something Henry has done before or is it just desperation?
It’s pure desperation, because he has that background he’s never wanted for anything so this is the first time he’s been in a situation and he can’t buy his way out of it. He’s very proud, he could just be honest with Gemma and say this is happening I need help, but his pride gets in the way.
His next plan is to throw himself down the stairs, fake an accident and claim on the Rovers insurance, is that just spur of the moment?
I think he just sees an opportunity to get himself out of a big hole. It’s quite dark but it’s desperation, there have been opportunities leading up to this to get his hands on the money that he’s seen and not taken, and at this point all he’s thinking is that he needs this money now no matter what and it’s the last resort. There are no other options on the table and in his eyes if he doesn’t come up with the money he’s a dead man.
Does this show the lengths Henry’s prepared to go to, in his eyes, to save his relationship with Gemma?
Yes, he’s risked a lot to be in this relationship, he’s turned his back on his family, and I think the idea of that all ending over money is devastating for Henry. It’s whether in his mind he can make the ends justify the means. In his eyes his dishonesty is to save his relationship with Gemma, and in the back of his mind he hopes that if she ever found that out she would accept that. It’s a risky option!
How are you enjoying being back at Coronation Street for a second time, did you know your character would be coming back?
I didn’t know he’d be back, no. It’s a pleasure to be back at Coronation Street and working with Dolly, we’re both very silly and this time we’re that bit more comfortable around each other to try new things. We’re enjoying playing the fun things that couples do, seeing some of their private moments, and Dolly is such fun to work with that it's been great.
We spoke to Sue Nicholls about Lewis' return and the unfinished business between him and Audrey. Is Lewis to be trusted?
How has Audrey been feeling since she saw Lewis again when he was exposed as the person helping Rosemary?
It was one of those realisations that happens sometimes, although a good few years have passed and even though she may have been thinking she was well out of it, when the person is suddenly there you realise that the feelings have not gone away. This is the way for Audrey, it is unfinished business for her.
What happens when he gets back in touch this time?
She gets a visiting order and I guess most people would think ‘oh rip it up and don’t give him another thought’ but she does just the opposite, she cancels a lunch with her family and heads off to see him. She is curious and she wants to see face to face what he wants to say and if there is anything still there.
What does he say to her?
Well he does tell her that he has paid Gail the money back, he is trying to prove to her that he has turned over a new leaf and is paying for what he did.
Does she say anything to Gail?
No I don’t think she was planning to tell Gail she had been to see him but even if she had been going to Gail out maneuvers her tells her about the money going back in her account and is very outspoken against Lewis, even though he has done that Audrey knows she can’t tell her.
Can you see why Audrey is believing what he is saying?
Audrey never really lost out money wise and once she had seen in him prison and reignited the flame she does want to believe him.
Do you think Audrey feels like she needs a man or is it just this particular man?
I think it is this particular man, I hope it comes over that way. Once she realises there are feelings still there, and not a silly kind of crush, then it is something she can’t do anything about. It may be the wrong person for her and she has probably had a little talk with herself but she thinks she has to take chance.
Does she feel as though she has always been there for her family and now she wants something for herself?
Yes she thinks that she will always wonder if she doesn’t do this. She is 78 and she might not get another chance at love so she can’t think about their opinion. She also thinks that yes it might go wrong but if it does she is no worse off and actually it might all work out.
She goes to great lengths to keep the secret, what does she do?
She goes as far as concocting the fact that she is going on a cruise when actually she and Lewis are holed up at Grasmere Drive and Claudia is the only one that knows the truth.
What does Claudia think?
They actually have a lovely heart to heart and Claudia tells her to go for it, I think this comes from a genuine feeling on Claudia’s part that she wants her friend to have this chance at happiness.
She must have known that at some point she would have to tell the family was she wanting to wait and see if it worked out?
She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, she knows how Gail feels and she wasn’t brave enough to tell her. She did probably want to see how it was going herself before she told the family but now the genie is out of the bottle.
Is she angry when the stage an intervention in the salon?
I think she was past being angry by that time, she had talked to Gail and then David had also found out when he returned from his holiday. She had already told Gail that she wants her on her side and that she wants her to approve of her choice and that it might be her last chance of happiness which forces her to choose. It is after that when they ‘kidnap’ her. So she is just fed up with them treating her like she is daft and doesn’t know what she is doing.
Is Audrey concerned about what other people might think if her and Lewis?
No she isn’t really someone who is too worried about people gossiping about her she has grown up and lived a fairly eventful life and she can give as good as she gets really. There comes a time in life when you no longer care about other people’s opinions.
Does it upset Audrey that Gail is so judgemental over it all?
Gail always harps on about what Lewis did to her and I have thought about it and really nobody else has ever appreciated that when the kerfuffle happened years ago Gail knew that Audrey was having a relationship with him and they were together and it was actually quite a serious affair. He might have done wrong to Gail but Audrey was wronged by both of them and hurt most so Gail shouldn’t really have the moral high ground on this one. Maybe Audrey should tell her one day, that might come.
Are you pleased that Corrie is showing that romance is not just for the younger generations?
Yes I am, it is important, not everyone wants romance later in life but it happens and it is a lovely thing. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to play this storyline. It is never too late to find love.
Are you enjoying working with Nigel?
Yes he is lovely to work with I find it very easy to do the scenes with him, I want it to look truthful and he helps. Audrey really cares for him and it will be interesting to see how this develops.
Coming up on the cobbles...
Living in fear for his life, Henry watches Rita put her annuity cheque for £15k in a drawer. What does he have planned?
We are gonna be so great behind that bar, we'll be like Tom Cruise and whats-his-name?
As Gina begins to realise how Dev views their relationship, has it broken down beyond repair?
Every time you look at me lately I see humiliation in your eyes.
Coming up on the cobbles...
Keen to stamp their authority on The Rovers, Johnny and Jenny spread the word that they are going to turn it into a gastropub. How will Michelle and Robert react?
It will still be The Rovers, just with a different look.
As Audrey and Lewis rekindle their relationship, Gail worries about her mother and what she's up to. What will happen when she discovers the truth?
When I spoke to her she was having drinks with the Captain.
Coming up on the cobbles...
Leanne’s put out when Imran explains that his father has just died and she was 'just' a distraction. How will she deal with this?
Last night was amazing. It was exactly what I needed, not pity, but...
Having been seen by Billy at the food van, Sean lies making out that he’s a volunteer and there to help serve the food. Billy’s not entirely convinced, but will he realise the truth?
Is there something you're not telling me?
Coming up: Gail catches Audrey and Lewis red-handed! Sean seeks help from Billy, Imran is having trouble with his ex and Henry is in very hot water!
Alison King discusses the battle for the factory, life after Aidan and Carla's disastrous love life - especially where Peter's concerned...
How has Carla been feeling since Aidan’s death because she had kept it together for so long and been everyone’s rock?
She was trying to be strong but she needed to have that meltdown and fighting Alya for the factory was her denial and when it looked like she had lost it all, it was a release, everyone told her it wasn't her fault and she knows that but she still believed she had played a part in his death.
What was it that was making her feel guilty?
It was the fact that like all of them she couldn’t help and she didn’t know how he was feeling. She tries to help everybody and fix everybody and she feels has done so many things wrong, she was out of control and she couldn't do anything to fix it. She was able to grieve at the funeral and she was able to cry but she still felt as though she had played a part in it, coming back to Weatherfield, giving him the factory.