Corrie's Jane and Chris survey their 'rocky' year
One year on from the tram crash, TV Times magazine talks to Coronation Street actors Jane Danson and Chris Gascoyne about how things turned out for Leanne and Peter... Let’s rewind to the live episode last year. What are your memories of it? Chris: “That was a difficult one. I’d rehearsed it so many times that by the time we got to it, I was sick of it, really! I felt really depressed; I didn’t go to the party after, I went home. When you’re lying there dying for a week, your body doesn’t know what’s happening. But it was a great triumph and it brought us closer together.” Jane: “It was a bit of an anti-climax. It had been so much pressure for such a long time, and once it was done, we all went 'Oh, right...' It was a strange feeling. I went to the party, but I don’t even remember speaking to anyone. Someone said that I just sat down in a corner, slumped on a sofa.” How would you sum up Peter and Leanne’s first 12 months of marriage? Chris: “It’s been very rocky to say the least. There was the stuff with Nick, Peter was very ill and had to get back on his feet, and there was all the guilt of Ashley dying, so it started off badly and carried on badly. And Peter says he’s forgiven Leanne for Nick, but in his heart, it still niggles him." Jane: “It’s not been the best, has it! They had the blessing, where Peter found out about Nick, and then her mother turned up and they argued over that, then she got pregnant and had about half an episode of happiness, and then she lost her baby. And in the middle of all this, Carla’s been hovering in the wings..." Now, let’s talk about Carla. Chris, what does Carla give Peter that Leanne doesn’t? “I think he’s attracted to her, and I think there’s a co-dependency there, whether they’re drinking or not. They understand each other perhaps on a different level that Peter and Leanne understand each other.” What are Peter and Leanne’s moods as the anniversary approaches? Chris: “Peter starts to realise that he’s buried this for a year. He won’t think about it and, when he does think about it, he wants to drink. There are things that force him to re-evaluate his life, until he gets to the moment where he’s about to walk into the flat and he turns round and walks away." Jane: “Leanne’s saying, ‘What a year we’ve had and we’ve managed to get through it, let’s celebrate,’ and she doesn’t really think about it from Peter’s point of view. So she’s looking at the positives, and he’s thinking about the bad things." Jane, if Leanne was to discover that Peter was having an affair with Carla, is that something she could forgive him for? “I don’t think she could not forgive him, because she’s done the same thing. I’m assuming there’ll be lots of rows and tears – again! – if she finds out what’s going on.” This time next year, do you think Peter and Leanne will be together or apart? Chris: "You never know what’s happening with Peter, do you? This time next year, he could quite easily be dead! That’s one of the things that I really enjoy, finding out how his life is going to unfold." Jane: "Personally, I like them as a couple, even though they’ve not had many happy times. But I do think that to make any future happy times believable, they have to be apart for a considerable amount of time."
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.