A reunion, a split and a Christmas baby are all on the menu in Weatherfield...
Tis' the season to be jolly... and be on the edge of your sofa, glued to Coronation Street!
With Santa's annual visit now just weeks away, the soap has promised to deliver some exciting gifts of its own - a raft of juicy storylines that will have us weeping with joy one minute and fearing for our favourite characters the next.
Here's our rundown of the seven big plots headed our way...
1. David and Shona reunite
Romance is in the air for David and Shona, but not before a mix up leaves them in danger of a divorce.
Still struggling with her brain injury, Shona gets muddled and gives David the impression she doesn’t want to be with him. He’s secretly gutted but, thinking it’s what Shona wants, he announces that they must accept their marriage is over.
On Christmas Day, David’s delighted when Shona gives him a giant cuddly rabbit to replace the real one he lost as a child. And, he’s grateful for her support when they have to go to hospital with Lily, who gets a jewellery bead stuck up her nose.
But back on the cobbles, Shona can’t cope when she sees David being flirty with Daisy, and storms off.
David finds her in Victoria Garden and, as they clear the air, they both admit they want to be with each other. With Max and Lily’s help, they re-enact their 2019 wedding. Aah...
2. Gary’s questioned about Rick’s disappearance…
Thanks to Sarah’s anonymous call to Crimestoppers, Gary’s carted off to the nick to answer questions about the disappearance of Rick Neelan - the former loan shark he bumped off in self defence last year.
Sarah’s furious when he’s released without charge and, confronting him at his flat, she calls him a killer...as Gary’s missus Maria arrives home!
Alone with her hubby, Maria demands an explanation and, when Gary can’t come up with anything plausible, Maria turfs him out. She later summons him home, but only because Rick’s daughter Kelly has called by, wanting answers about her father’s whereabouts.
Gary continues to lie that he has no idea of where Rick is now residing, but Kelly’s patience wears thin, and she later demands Gary tell her what he’s done with her dad.
How long can he play the innocent?
3. Toyah and Imran get a Christmas baby
There’s joy for Toyah and Imran, who become short-term foster parents to a baby boy, Mason. They’re not the only ones getting a kiddie for Christmas. Nick takes on son Sam while Natasha works in London for three months and, on Leanne’s suggestion, he moves out of their flat so he doesn’t have to tread on eggshells around her.
The timing is far from ideal, but when Leanne announces she’s off to France to visit Stella and Eva, her loved ones relax, knowing she’s being cared for across the channel.
Little do they realise that Leanne has fed them a lie - she is, in fact, hiding away at home, consumed with grief over son Oliver’s death.
How long till her family discover the truth?
4. Peter is rushed to hospital with suspected liver failure
Peter’s recent fall from the wagon has devastating consequences, as Daniel finds his alcoholic brother in Victoria Garden, clutching his stomach, vomiting, and covered in blood. Daniel calls for an ambulance, and over at Weatherfield General, he’s horrified as a doctor tells Peter that it’s a possibility he has liver failure.
Peter swears his sibling to secrecy, but when Daniel tells Adam, the solicitor tells Ken, who heads to the hospital. He’s devastated as Peter urges him to face facts - he’s dying. Can Ken persuade his son to keep fighting? And how will Carla react?
5. Paul is arrested
Todd’s desperate for Paul and Billy’s relationship to hit the skids so he can have Billy for himself, so he’s delighted when Paul bails on a night in with Billy in order to secretly visit vulnerable helpline caller, Will.
Teen Will tells Paul that his violent stepfather attacked his mum, leaving him in fear of his life. Paul insists Will report the incident to police, and later explains all to Billy, who’s perturbed to learn that Todd is in the loop.
Spurred on by Todd, Paul later pays Will another visit...and gets arrested for hitting a man he believes is Will’s violent stepdad. Todd’s delighted as Paul is charged with assault and criminal damage, but he’s left seething when the incident brings Paul and Billy closer together. Is it time to give up on his ex?
6. Chesney saves Christmas for Gemma - but at what cost?
Gemma was recently sweet-talked by Sean into becoming a sales rep for the make-up range he and Michael are flogging - a classic case of pyramid-selling - and is determined to sell as much as possible so that she and Ches can afford a proper Christmas. So she’s thrilled when Ches has a word with Big Garth and secures her a stall at the Christmas market.
Gemma’s sales patter leaves a lot to be desired, so Ches and Kirk step in and order the mum to go home. The duo rake it in, but their elation is short-lived when they discover their stock has been stolen, along with the cash tin.
Chesney’s determined not to disappoint his fiancee, and he and Kirk later return to number five, laden with Christmas presents. But where did they get the money from? And could their actions bite them on the bum, come 2021?
7. The residents get one over on Ray…
Ray and Debbie are determined to push ahead with their redevelopment plans. Following Gary’s decision not to sell the factory, the duo turn their attentions to Nick, and offer him alternative premises for Underworld, for half the rent. Will Nick bite?
Meanwhile, as Ray wines and dines Dev, the locals are furious to discover Dev has switched sides. But as Abi, Tyrone and Asha lead a boycott outside his shop, Roy has good news to share - the council’s planning officer has ruled against the development! Ray’s fuming, and tells Debbie that the fight isn’t over yet. What dirty trick will he pull out of the bag next?
During Christmas week, Coronation Street will air hour-long episodes on Monday, Wednesday and Christmas Day at 7.30pm, with an extra half hour episode on Christmas Eve at 7.45pm on ITV.
During New Year week, Coronation Street will air hour-long episodes on Monday and Wednesday at 7.30pm and New Year’s Day at 8pm, with an extra half hour episode on New Year’s Eve at 8.30pm on ITV.
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.
She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way.
There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.
When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.
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