It's bad news for Becky when Slug slips back into her life, warns Coronation Street star Marshall Lancaster... We loved you as Chris in Ashes To Ashes. What's brought you back to Corrie? "Becky! A couple of times they asked me before and I couldn't do it. I'm really chuffed it's worked out." How long are you back for? "Initially 12 weeks. I'd obviously like to be more of a regular in it. But soap bad boys have a shelf life and they can't stay for ever." Slug looks to have cleaned up his act. Is he still a bad boy then? "He's given up drugs and drink. He's got a good haircut and he's suited and booted. But..." How does Becky react when he returns? "She's stunned. He tells her he's a changed man. He says he's got a job, a flat and now calls himself by his real name, Neil." Is Becky impressed with his smart new image? "She says she's pleased things are looking up for him. But when Slug, or Neil, puts a suit on he still looks a bit scruffy. I'm like that. When I go to weddings they always try to put me at the back of the photos." Is Slug/Neil looking to pick up again with Becky? "There's a bit of temptation there for her. Whenever Slug appears it's trouble, but it's an attractive trouble and Becky's like a moth to a flame. She can't help herself..." So where does the 'but' come in? "He's a wolf in sheep's clothing. I can't give too much away, but Becky's arch-nemesis, copper Hooch, is going to turn up too..." What does Steve make of Slug? "He's suspicious. He quizzes Becky about him and she explains he's an ex-boyfriend, but now he's just a mate." Are you a Corrie fan? "I've always loved Coronation Street. It does feel strange when you appear on it because you think you know the characters. It was like that with Liz Dawn [Vera] when I was on the show last time. I felt like I was her best friend." If you had to who would you choose between DI Alex Drake in Ashes To Ashes and Becky? "That's a tough one. I think probably Becky because Alex Drake is so much taller than me I'd have to get a stepladder to give her a kiss!"
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.
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