Coronation Street

Our chat with Alan and Jamie

This week we find out that Phill has been writing a book about John Stape. Was this his reason for wanting to be with Fiz in the first place or just a coincidence?

Jamie: It’s definitely not his reason for wanting to be with Fiz in the first place. The thing with Phill is you can always guarantee that he does everything with the best of intentions so even this seemingly weird creepy manoeuvre to write a book about his partner’s ex murderer husband has good intentions. After going for dinner with Phill’s friend, who it turns out was the prosecuting barrister in the Stape case, it’s the first time that Phill and Fiz actually broach the subject. Out of that conversation comes the fact that Fiz feels she’s had to hide herself away, that she’s ashamed and embarrassed. So Phill in his wisdom thinks if he writes this book, it’s the best way for her to become free of his shadow. He thinks if he can write this book from her point of view, it will release those chains for her. Obviously, it backfires massively as he should’ve spoken to her first but that’s the drama that ensues.

How smug does Tyrone feel when his suspicions are confirmed - Phill isn’t actually perfect - does he see this as his chance to win Fiz back?

Alan: Honestly, I think it’s got to that point with Tyrone where although he wants Fiz back, he recognises that Phill is a good guy who’s good to Fiz, he’s also good to Ty’s daughters, so he’s not a bad guy to have around. In another life, I think they could have been pretty close friends. Having said that I think he does spot an opportunity here, realising the grass maybe not so green with Phill, so who knows.

After initially trying to win Fiz back, Tyrone has played the long game quite well recently, he’s stood back and tried to be supportive. Was this all part of a masterplan?

Alan: I’ll be honest, I don’t think Tyrone’s clever enough to think of a masterplan. Of course he wants to win Fiz back, he realised that it was his mistakes that led him to this situation and I think he was finally resigned to ‘Fiz has found somebody else, she’s moved on, she’s happy’ and for all he wasn’t happy with that, he was happy that she was happy and that the girls had somebody stable in their life. But now maybe he sees a chink of light in this.

Phill’s plan to free Fiz by writing the Stape book massively backfires and sees Hope coming after him with a digger! Should Phill be worried, he’s always made it clear he’s prepared to take on the girls, but has met his match in Hope?

Jamie: He’s happy to take on the girls, I think he’s always wanted kids and it’s never worked out that way, so this is the perfect scenario. He’s absolutely besotted with Fiz, he loves her unconditionally and they come as a package. They’ve had their ups and downs, Hope’s obviously quite volatile, but I think in the main he has a really good relationship with the girls. Phill’s maybe not as wary of Hope as he should be. He’s quite a trusting, kind hearted guy and probably not expecting her to attack him with a digger!

It’s quite a hardcore act of revenge isn’t it?

Jamie: Yes it is but bless her, she’s just found out all these things about her past. This is what Phill hadn’t thought through, yes his intentions were good but he acts before he thinks. He thought he could save the day with this book but what he hasn’t thought through is the fact that Hope doesn’t know any of this and it’s just the click of a button and boom, her world falls apart. Put that in with someone as volatile as Hope and you’re asking for trouble.

Tyrone’s starting to feel quietly confident again about his chances with Fiz but then we see him and Phill getting involved in another one of their epic battles, this time fighting in wet concrete. Tell us a bit about what happens…

Alan: Tyrone can see something is not right with Fiz, of course he immediately puts his arms out and says ‘Come home, I’ll do whatever you want me to do.’ So he goes to see Phill, just with the intention of getting Fiz’s stuff back, but a few buttons are pressed. Phill’s partaking in a bit of DIY at the time with some wet concrete and it goes from there. I think on the back of what happened on Christmas Day, the writers quite liked the small man / large man fight scene, so this time they thought they’d dip us in wet concrete while we did it, I’m always getting the fun jobs! 

Was that fun to film? How did you feel when you got the script and saw you were going for round two? 

Jamie: We had a call with the producer first as he wanted to ask mine and Alan’s permission, to see if we were happy. He explained that they wanted to do this fight in the concrete, another of their epic battles, and how we’d end up hosing each other off in our pants in the back garden. He asked if we were comfortable to be in our pants, we both said yes, then I went on an all inclusive holiday where I was situated very close to a San Miguel tap, and Alan basically moved into his local gym. I’m not going to come out of this well.

Do you enjoy filming the fight scenes?

Alan: I can’t say I was excited about stripping to my pants on a freezing cold day in Didsbury but that’s part of the job. We tried to have a lot of fun with it, to really put a smile on the audience’s faces. There’s a clear difference in our height as you’ll see on our social media, Jamie’s huge and I’m really not, so the idea of this 6’4 guy and this 5’7 guy scrapping it out is pretty silly. After the first fight with the inflatable unicorn, I think people have appreciated that bit of humour. Yes it’s a sad situation of a family break up but to have that comedy is classic Corrie.

Jamie: There’s potential for some classic Corrie moments, it comes down to the chemistry and how you work with that actor, and me and Al have just found this thing where we stumble across funny moments. Even just trying to get out of the concrete, there wasn’t a direction to say ‘Can you have a wrestle and a rollaround’ but we’re trying to get out of the concrete, and the size difference and the awkwardness of the position, the fact he’s putting concrete on my face, and we’re naturally just wrestling our way out is funny. As Al says, it’s horrible and it’s freezing cold, but on camera, it looks amazing, and I feel really honoured to be involved in these classic Corrie moments.

During the fight, Phill announces he’s lost a ring in the concrete and is planning to propose to Fiz. Does Tyrone think Phill has no chance or is he a bit worried?

Alan: Tyrone’s a nice guy and as soon as he realises Phill has lost a ring, which has sentimental value, Tyrone just thinks I’ll help him find it and then he’ll be gone, riding off into the sunset. He doesn’t know that Phill has plans to go and speak to Fiz and see what comes of that. 

Phill is on the backfoot with Fiz at this point. What makes him think that now is the right time to propose?

Jamie: I don’t think he goes with the intention, he just wants to go and clear the air with Fiz so he can move on, then it just sort of snowballs. It’s very emotional, it’s a lovely scene actually, he just seizes the moment and there we go.

Whatever Fiz decides, are either of these two ready to give up yet?

Jamie: Absolutely not. They both love her, but from Phill’s perspective, Tyrone’s had his chance, he chose Alina, now it’s Phill’s turn.

Alan: Over the last 18 months, I think Tyrone has realised everything that he had, everything that he has lost. He recognises that Fiz is his soulmate and he will do anything to try and win her back. But he’ll also do anything just to make her happy, whatever that might be.

So why should Fiz be with Tyrone?

Alan: I think the one thing that Coronation Street has above all other shows as far as I’m concerned is history, it’s got such a great history, and Tyrone and Fiz have an unbelievable history. They’ve been through so many things together, and of course there have been speed bumps along the way and most of those have been down to Tyrone, but certainly this time I think he recognises what he’s lost and he recognises that Fiz is his soulmate he’s praying that she chooses him.

Jamie, why should Fiz pick Phill:

Jamie: I agree with the history, but you’ve sometimes got to draw a line under that and start a whole new history. Tyrone had his chance, Phill would’ve walked into that furniture shop, bought a wardrobe, never to return, but she was free and single, Tyrone made his choices. Phill might make mistakes but he has good intentions. The track record of Tyrone Dobbs, you can’t really say the same thing. Having said that Phill does really love Tyrone, he wants them to be mates, if he stays with Fiz he’s happy to include Tyrone so they can be one extended family. Go Team Phill!

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Coronation Street