With a struggling business and a family to support Gary was pleased when Carla offered him the job repairing the factory roof but he may look back on it at as a poisoned chalice.
Having checked over the property following the boat fire and a subsequent leak Gary advised Carla to replace the whole structure. But Gary found himself in a difficult position when Carla insisted he fix it as cheaply as possible. Desperate not to lose the work, and with Seb needling him at every opportunity, Gary cut corners in order to get the job done.
Could Gary’s patch up job be to blame for the accident that costs someone their life?
Mikey North Interview
In the run up to the factory collapse Gary’s not been having an easy time, what’s been going on?
Gary’s got money worries again - he’s got no work on, he’s had problems with Seb, who’s actually been costing him work, and he’s struggling to make ends meet. He and Sarah are sleeping on air beds at the Platt's which isn’t great for their relationship, everything seems to be a struggle.
When Carla asks him to look at the factory roof after the boat fire, and Gary says there’s damage there that needs repairing, is he being truthful when he says the whole roof needs replacing?
Yes he’s right, it does need replacing, it’s a safety concern but equally he needs the work and he needs the money so he’s pushing for that. He’s pretty definitive in his response to Carla that she should get the work on the roof done but then it’s not up to him to make the final decision.
When Carla insists that she just wants him to do a repair job, does he worry about the safety of the roof, or does he just have to accept what she says because he’s not in a position to lose the work?
Exactly, any work is better than no work. Gary doesn’t want to push Carla too hard in case she tells him to leave it completely then he doesn’t even get to repair the fire damage. He’s treading carefully to make sure he gets some work out of it rather than nothing. In hindsight maybe he doesn’t push it as much as he should.
Does Gary think Carla’s being quite reckless by not having the roof replaced?
Yeah he’s pretty firm with her that the work needs doing and she’s the one that says no don’t worry about, she’s hasn’t got the money right now and they can look at it again in a year’s time. She’s the one that makes the decision to leave it.
At the same time Gary finds himself embroiled in a vendetta with Seb. Why do you think he’s wound Gary up so much?
Gary feels he’s given Seb enough chances, there are three or four times where he takes him back on, even after he walked in on Sarah in the bath! He made a pass at Gary’s girlfriend and he still kept his job, despite Gary niggling him at work, but then he decided to punch Gary so that was the final nail in the coffin for Seb. He’s definitely now looking for a way to get revenge on Gary, and damaging the factory roof further to make it look like Gary’s a dodgy tradesman would be the perfect opportunity.
The audience can see Seb brooding, he’s not had an easy time recently, do you think Seb is capable of taking some sort of serious revenge on Gary?
Absolutely! Seb’s lost the twins, he’s fallen out with his mum, he and Faye have broken up and now he’s got no job. He’s lost a lot and in his eyes most of that is down to Gary who is definitely in Seb’s line of fire.
Nowadays we see quite a dependable, family orientated Gary but that wasn’t always the case. When he joined the show he was a bit more of a bad lad, do you think we could see that return?
Gary came into the show as a bit of a ‘chavvy villain’ I always say. He was fiery and always getting into scrapes, sometimes on the wrong side of the law, he’s a Windass after all. Then he joined the army and suffered with PTSD which has impacted on who he is now. It would be great to revisit that side of his personality if the opportunity arises. It’s always nice to see things come full circle with a character, he was like that once so it’s definitely within him.
Gary’s got into a lot of scrapes along the years, he’s had more fights than Mike Tyson, so I’d definitely be open to that.
At the time of the factory collapse where is Gary?
Gary’s in the Platt's, he and Sarah have gone upstairs for a bit of alone time, then they hear the roof coming down and they run out onto the Street and see the devastation.
How does Gary react to the scene of devastation they’re met with?
The first thing that goes through Gary's mind is are they going to blame me for this because I’m the one who did the work on the roof. He told Carla it needed replacing and yes it’s come down a lot sooner than either of them ever expected but is he going to be blamed for being negligent. Gary’s worried that he’s going to be in some way liable for this.