Coronation Street

Interview: Jane Danson

There are troubled times ahead for Leanne and the family as Oliver's health takes a turn for the worse. Jane Danson shares her thoughts on the upcoming storyline.

How has Leanne been coping since Oliver’s seizures began?

When he had the first seizure obviously they were worried but they just thought he’d over heated so they weren’t massively concerned. It caused a bit of friction between Steve and Leanne because he was in charge of Oliver and it happened on his watch but they get through it, however as the weeks go on and he has these seizures more and more the doctors start to question what is causing them.

They run tests in hospital and they do prepare them for it being something more serious but they don’t want to speculate about what it might be.

Is it difficult to comprehend how poorly he has become?

It’s just so hard for them to get their heads round. This has come out of nowhere, a few weeks ago Oliver was fine and developing like any other three year old, now he seems to be regressing and no one knows why.

Does Leanne think this could be something serious or does she genuinely believe he’ll be fine?

I think there’s a bit of both and she goes on a real journey with it. Historically Leanne has always been a character that jumps in at the deep end then swims as fast as she can but this is something that is totally out of her control. She goes on a rollercoaster ride, one minute she’s worried about what’s wrong with him, the next she thinks he’s going to be fine because he’s shown some progress. He has good days and bad days and when he has good days she gets her hopes up again.

It’s really sad and it has a massive effect on everyone who’s involved in Oliver’s life. It also has a big impact on their relationships with each other and how they get through this. It’s not just about this little boy it’s about everybody and how they all cope with this and with Leanne being his mum she’s the one who seemingly doesn’t cope. 

This week Oliver’s seizures intensify and he’s first taken to hospital for tests, who does Leanne feel?

She knows enough to be worried but she doesn’t know enough to fully understand what it means as they haven’t got the clarification yet. At this point it’s not concrete, so there’s a little part of her that thinks he could be fine. It’s partly denial but I think that’s your instinct as a human being, survival and to believe that anything might be possible. But as time goes on I think that positivity starts to diminish. 

They’re relieved to get Oliver home, can you talk us through what happens next?

He goes home and he’s seemingly ok, he’s said mummy after not speaking for a while so Leanne sees that as a positive sign. But just as things seem to be ok he has a much worse seizure and that’s when they can’t stop it so he has to go back to the hospital. That's the beginning really of this awful journey they’re going to go on.

As Oliver is moved to intensive care is this the first time Leanne genuinely fears for the future?

Given what she’s being told by the doctors she can’t escape how serious this is now, it’s just something that’s incredibly sad, something that’s unthinkable for most of us.

Coronation Street