Episodes On Demand
27 | Episodes Available
On Next
ITV | Tonight 7:30 - 8pm

Coronation Street Advent Calendar: Day 8

What's behind the window of DAY EIGHT of our Coronation Street Advent Calendar? Why... it's Faye Brookes answering our 60 Second Christmas Questions.

Coronation Street Advent Calendar: Day 7

It's DAY SEVEN of our Corrie Advent Calendar, and a classic Barlow family Christmas from 2005, featuring the legendary Blanche Hunt playing Charades.

Interview: Alison King on Carla's return to the cobbles

What made you decide to come back?

I have been away about a year and a half. Once Kate had started as producer I met up with her and said that I would be happy to come back a bit earlier than I had originally discussed. I had said I would maybe have a two year break but I felt ready to come back.

I didn’t feel like I wanted to go anywhere else. I wasn’t keen on the idea of travelling around the country with work, I had done what I wanted to do and spent time with Daisy and we had a great time, I was there for her, I hadn’t really had time to do that and it was a crucial age for schooling etc.

That is the most rewarding thing, I needed that break. But it was time for me to have the adult banter again. I was also excited about working with Kate as producer. She asked if I could come back for Christmas and I was more than happy to do that.

What have you done workwise during your time away?

I was very lucky to work on series two of a comedy a drama called sicknote which is Sky 1. The first series is out now written by Nat Saunders and James Serafinowicz - brilliant writers, director Matt Lipsey made by King Bert productions which is David Walliams’ company. It is a comedy, it is quite dark, I play Chief Superintendent Christine Henchy.

She has her hair all rolled up and I wear a very austere Chief Superintendent outfit. She is quite posh so completely different to Carla and it was great to work on a comedy. There is room for her to return in series three which would be great. It was fantastic to work with Rupert Grint and I also got to do some scenes with Lindsay Lohan who was really lovely.

I was offered a few of the celeb shows such as Strictly Come Dancing but I just didn’t fancy it. My main aim was to spend time with Daisy, you don’t get any awards for being a good parent but it is the most important job in the world.

Is it easy to get back into Carla?

Yes it was like pulling on an old sock or an old pair of stiletto boots! My first two scenes were with Shayne on location and the crew who are like family, I got butterflies from excitement about seeing everyone but not from nerves. It was so lovely, like I had never been away and I was happy I made the decision to return.
I’ve know for a good few months that I was coming back so I was pleased to be finally with everyone again.

What was it like seeing all your mates again?

I am sharing a dressing room with Kym and Faye which is lovely - the Connor girls reunited. When I came back I asked which dressing room I was in and they said Kym had asked if I could share with them which was so nice. So we are squeezed in together and it is great fun.

Where is Carla at in her life and how does she feel about Aidan getting in touch with her?

Because it is near Christmas it is nice to hear from him. She wonders what it is about but she sees it as a chance to catch up with him as she is nearby on business. She doesn’t feel too overwhelmed because it is only him and she is intrigued and misses everybody but her first reaction when he asks her to help him buy the factory is ‘absolutely not’ she just isn't keen but then she starts thinking about family.

Seeing him has made her realise she misses everyone and would like to see them and be with them at Christmas. She has been able to switch off from the family, it has been a case of out of sight out of mind but now she can’t stop thinking about them.

She puts on a front that she can survive on her own and is independent but can she really?

Yes she is a hard shell with a soft centre, these people, her family and Roy are more important to her than she would care to admit.

What happens when she turns up on Christmas Day?

Aidan is not too happy as she has turned him down when he asked for her help but then she turns up on Christmas Day and she says she has changed her mind. She really does want to help. She rallies round and is a nice person to be around. She is a bit like Mother Christmas, she is a bit more vulnerable than she has been in the past.

She is back with a secret, what can you tell us about what is happening in her life?

She is at a stage where she is starting to think about life and family, her secret is making her take stock. In the past two years she has acquired a family that she didn’t know she had. Prior to that she was a bit of a lone wolf, she had people like Michelle around her but suddenly she had a family that she does really care about, they mean a lot to her.

Kate has got her secret with Rana, Johnny has got his illness, is she someone they can depend on?

Absolutely, she wants to be there for them all, she knows about Johnny’s illness and that is one of the reasons she wants to help Aidan with the factory. As for Kate, Carla is non judgemental she has been around the block a few times. She wants to genuinely be there for them all, there is nothing selfish about that, she genuinely wants to be at the centre of the family.

How is her relationship with Michelle?

She can tell that Robert and Michelle really love each other and she is really pleased for her. She has her reasons for being wary of Robert, he as one of the reasons for her marriage with Nick not working out so she has her doubt. But she knows really she hit her own self destruct button so she hopes his relationship with Michelle is true but she does discover some things which make her unsure.

How are things with Roy?

Roy is always there for Carla, he is the one person who knows her secret and he is the one person she has confided in. He has always been a father figure. He could be the key to her sticking around. She has no plans to stay when she first comes back but if she was going to stick around for anyone it would be Roy. He could persuade her that it is a good idea to move back.
She loves everything about Roy, she would go and look at trains for a day with him, she gets unconditional love back from him. I was excited to know I was coming back to scenes with David, he is so exciting to work with.

What has Carla been doing since she left?

She certainly doesn’t seem to have a man on the go but she has been keeping her hand in on the business side of things. Carla has always had business as her main focus and that hasn’t changed.

Has Carla’s wardrobe changed at all?

She’s a bit more relaxed for the Christmas episodes but other than that she still the classic Carla of old - the heels are a touch lower though, after months not having to wear the heels I didn’t want to be tottering around the cobbles in heels quite as high as I used to!

What were your first scenes back on the set?

It was in the Bistro with Rita and Jenny and Johnny and the family. The Carla and Jenny dynamic is not one I had played before. It is fun to play as Jenny is quite jealous. Carla is back and she is getting all this attention off Johnny and Jenny doesn’t really like it.

Carla is oblivious, she comes into the Bistro with all these petrol station gifts for everyone and is flinging them round and can’t understand why she is putting everybody out, she knocks Jenny’s make-up bag on the floor and accidentally hits her on the head with a box of chocolates she is passing to someone.

She comes in in a flurry, that is Carla, thereby annoying Jenny so that puts a new dynamic there from the start which I am enjoying.

How does Tracy react to her return?

There is a great scene in the pub when Carla has her back to Tracy so she doesn’t see her but she hears her voice and she makes a classic Tracy remark and Carla gives her a great one line repost and walks off. Carla has no desire to revisit that old rivalry, she doesn’t have the time for it anymore.

How does Daisy feel about you going back?

She is really excited about me coming back to work, she is ready for it now as am I. She has had enough of me now!

What are your plans for Christmas?

Normally Daisy’s da Adam and I spend it together with Daisy so that is what we will do either here or with family down south. It is nice to know we get two clear weeks off to rest, eat and relax.

Do you think there is romance on the cards for Carla?

She is happy on her own for now, she is not looking for love. She is truly happy on her own but when she gets bored she quite likes to do things to take her mind of stuff.

There is someone she has a little fling with, but she is a bit like a cat with a mouse playing with him. It is something to do, it is not a big romance, and she also has another agenda for setting her sights on this person.

Does she still has feelings for Peter?

There will always be something, she knows that she lost the good egg in Nick but she will always love Peter, she lost his baby, he knows her inside out.

Might this cause problems between her and Toyah?

Toyah is a bit insecure about Carla being back, everyone knows about Carla and Peter’s on off relationship and how powerful it was. Everyone has their own opinion of what Carla is and most of them are not very good opinions, she is talked about in a certain way as a Diva so you can understand why Toyah may feel threatened but that perception of Carla is not really true.
She is not seen as a woman’s woman but she actually is and we have seen that over the years and she will fight for her friends.

What can we expect now Carla is back?

This is a different Carla because of the secret she is keeping so the next few months we will see a more vulnerable Carla who needs her family and friends more than she ever has before.

Coronation Street Advent Calendar: Day 6

What's behind the window on DAY SIX of our Corrie Advent Calendar? We asked our lovely cast (if they had to ) what they'd buy for some of the other characters on the cobbles. #Corrie

Coronation Street Advent Calendar: Day 5

It's DAY FIVE of our Coronation Street Advent Calendar. And a selection of our favourite Corrie images - one from each month of 2017.

Preview Pictures: This week On The Street

Coming up on the cobbles: Kate and Rana continue their affair, Leanne returns, Chesney has a run in with Daniel and Anna goes on the run.

Whilst in The Rovers back yard, Fiz, Beth and Liz notice smoke rising from the back of No. 9

Fiz discovers that their new trampoline is on fire and immediately points the finger at Beth.

Eva and Toyah are thrilled when Leanne returns from Spain with baby Oliver.

Sinead throws a beauty party and the girls ask about her wedding plans. Tracy senses her reluctance to get married.

Later, Chesney takes Sinead for a romantic dinner at the Bistro and slips an engagement ring into her champagne glass. Daniel watches from afar.

Crafty Chesney fakes food poisoning and suggests someone might have tampered with his meal. Sinead's given food for thought.

Following recent events, Daniel confronts Chesney in the Rover's back yard telling him that he knows Sinead still loves him.

Sinead is shocked to find Chesney with blood dripping down his face with Daniel standing over him. What has happened?

Kate and Rana take advantage of having the Bistro to themselves.

Startled by a masked intruder, Kate lashes out.

The police question Zeedan about the break in. But he confirms that he was out in his food van all evening.

Imran turns up at the Nazir's and announces to Rana and Zeedan that his marriage is on the rocks.

Kevin visits Anna in hospital and hits her with the news that their relationship is over as he needs to put Jack first. Anna is devastated.

Anna escapes from the hospital and goes on the run from the police.

While in the park, Anna spots Craig and is forced to hide in a bush.

Interview: Faye Brookes on Kate and Rana

As things have become even more complicated for Kate and Rana recently, Faye Brookes talks about Kate's feelings and what's next for them both...

Why does Kate tell Rana that she is moving to Spain?

Kate wants to get a reaction out of Rana so she decides that if she takes the candy away and leaves her with nothing then maybe Rana will tell her how she truly feels because Rana keeps putting the ball in Kate’s court. It’s way too much pressure on Kate so this is her way of turning the tables.

How does Rana react?

Rana doesn’t bat an eyelid and that frustrates Kate. Kate doesn’t get the reaction that she wanted and it leads Kate to think that this could ruin their relationship as well as their friendship and their friendship is the one thing that Kate wants to hold on the most.

Tell us what happens when Kate breaks down to Luke.

Kate finally realises her true feelings and they are so powerful. She has never felt these feelings before about anyone and the fact that it is someone that she can’t have makes it even more of a struggle. She is left with this broken heart without even having the relationship and break-up; she's broken hearted from the get-go.

How does Luke react?

Luke is the first person to see Kate vulnerable, she just breaks down. She tells him it all and to put that on Luke is awful... from an outside perspective I can’t believe Kate does that! But I am so glad that she finally has someone to talk to because she can’t even talk to her family. Poor Luke!

It seems like Kate and Rana can’t keep away from each other…

Weatherfield is a small place and Kate does work with Rana’s fiancè/husband/don’t know what’s going on there! Even just seeing each other across the road it’s like, “Oh gosh,” - it’s the chemistry! There is definitely something there and it makes it really juicy that Kate can’t have Rana - forbidden fruit.

After Kate comes to terms with her feelings, Zeedan sends Rana and Kate to attend a food fair on his behalf. What happens next?

The pair drive out to the food fair in Zeedan’s van and it breaks down. They are in the middle of nowhere and for the first time ever they give each other time to talk.

Rana opens up about the strict, regimented routine when she was growing up, that she can’t disappoint her family, she has to go by the book and live this happily ever after for her family’s sake. What’s really nice for Kate is that she sees Rana in a whole new light and it’s a good one, she realises that Rana has been dealing with so much.

It’s now made them a lot closer on a friendship level and maybe something more…

How does Kate feel when Rana makes these revelations?

She is relieved that it’s not just her that is struggling with the feelings and in a way she is feeling optimistic. It puts a question mark over whether something could happen now.

What was it like filming those scenes?

It’s definitely racy but we did it right and in a very sophisticated, artistic sort of way which I love. It’s filmed it in a really beautiful way but at the same time it is Coronation Street and it has to have that added drama. There is that element, the fact that they are not meant to be there and they are not meant to be alone, that electrifies that scene and makes it more intense so you never know if one thing is going to lead to another.

What’s it like filming with Bhavna Limbachia?

She’s a dream. We are both from the same work ethic which is to get the job done, to do it well and to respect the LGBT community. We both want the very best out of our characters so we are giving our all and we work really well with each other.

What has been the reaction from viewers, for example #Kana?

Kana is mental. I sit down to dinner and I can’t put my phone down because Twitter is crazy and that’s so nice because there is so much effort that goes into these episodes. When I see the fans have got every little moment that we have tried to create it’s so nice to be recognised by them. This was a massive risk for Coronation Street and for our characters but they are mad for Kana.

This was a massive risk for Coronation Street and for our characters but they are mad for #Kana.

– Faye Brookes

Were you surprised at the reaction from viewers?

I knew that people enjoyed certain Kate scenes with the likes of Shayne Ward, Kate’s brother, because they can see that we get on, they can see that naturally we always have a bit of banter which we bring to the screen and I love when the fans give their opinion about what they did and didn’t like. But there is so much love for Kate and Rana that this is the beginning of something amazing.

What do you hope that this storyline will achieve?

People are growing up now who aren’t comfortable in their own skin who don’t know whether they like boys or girls and it shouldn’t be taboo. I want this relationship to develop into something that is celebrated and helps the community to be celebrated and not to be perceived to be wrong because it's not. I found a new respect and understanding in Rana’s character because this is going on all the time. I want to do the LGBT community justice because it should be celebrated, love is love.