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Coronation Street star Mikey North reveals the Gary and Sarah storyline that had to be RE-WRITTEN

Coronation Street star Mikey North as Gary Windass
(Image credit: Mark Bruce)

Coronavirus is affecting the cobbles in more ways than one

There was high drama during Wednesday's visit to Coronation Street when Sarah Barlow finally discovered that ex boyfriend Gary Windass murdered loan shark Rick Neelan.

As she was legging it from her former lover, while making a desperate call to the police, Gary spotted that she was in the path of an oncoming car, and saved her life by pushing her out of the way – with the result that he got struck by the vehicle, himself.

Gary Sarah car crash Coronation Street

Gary saved Sarah's life, leaving his own hanging in the balance...

But that wasn’t always the plan. Actor Mikey North (opens in new tab), who plays Gary, has revealed that the drama was originally intended to play out away from the cobbles, and had to be re-written due to a current ban on location filming as part of health and safety guidelines introduced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Says North: “We were going to go back to the woods, and you were going to see Gary there and Sarah was going to be there with him. So we brought a flavour of that back to the street where we could film it.

“I think she was going to find him there, digging up Rick Neelan’s body, and put two and two together. I think she was then going to drive off and have a car crash and the car exploded. Gary was going to manage to pull her out in the original version.”

MORE: Coronation Street star reveals she was mistaken for a prostitute (opens in new tab)!

Gary kills Rick Coronation Street

Gary murdered Rick in self defence last year when the loan shark tried to kill him and threatened to go after Sarah and her family

Coronation Street boss Iain MacLeod announced back in June that the soap would be filming a car crash that would place two characters’ lives in jeopardy, and explained that, due to social distancing rules preventing physical contact, the crew would have to resort to ‘cheating’ to make the incident look realistic.

Asked whether the car crash was challenging to film, North adds: “The only part that was tricky was the scene where Gary had to push Sarah out of the way of the van, which we changed to adhere to the two metre rule.

"We used a dummy which was dressed up like Sarah - which is ironic as poor Tina O’Brien has had to act with a dummy in me for years!"

Alison Slade
Alison Slade

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.