It’s back to school for Coronation Street’s Daniel Osbourne, who has started a year-long teaching placement at Weatherfield High. And it’s a case of so far, not so good.
Ken’s son had big dreams to inspire his pupils with the great works of literature, but he has quickly realised he needs to muster up all his skills just to make the kids sit still.
One pupil has proved particularly challenging - David Platt’s stepson, Max Turner, who is messing about in class and failing to hand in his homework.
In this week’s episodes, as David accuses Daniel of favouritism by refusing to give Max one-to-one tuition but willingly helping Summer with her Oxbridge application, Max steps out of line in the classroom again and makes reference to his teacher’s former relationship with Bethany - all thanks to hearing David badmouthing Daniel at home.
When Daniel’s wallet then goes missing, he’s quick to accuse misbehaving Max, and later grabs him on the cobbles to check his pockets.
David catches sight of the altercation and is furious to see Max being ‘manhandled’, while Daisy warns Daniel that he could be in big trouble by making an accusation with no proof.
Rob Mallard, who plays Daniel, talks about the bumpy start to his character’s career...
Is teaching a dream job for Daniel?
I think he wants to do something meaningful with his life, and being a teacher is meaningful, so in that sense, yes. However, I also think there’s a slight reluctance to it because it’s what Ken did. He gets on with his dad now, but he didn’t always, and I think there’s probably a bit of resistance to following too closely in his footsteps.
How quickly does it become apparent that there’s more to teaching than just delivering your love of English literature?
Very quickly! I think he’s very brave, going to teach at a secondary school! I think he has this idea of going in and finding that one student that you manage to help in such a way that later down the line, they come back and say you changed my life. But he very quickly realises he’s got a room full of 30 kids who don’t care.
Summer is a model student and wants his help, while Max isn’t interested and is purposefully disruptive. What are his relationships like with the pair?
Summer is the model student and he has lots of time for her, but he doesn’t have the same time for Max. It’s a professional conflict - he knows he’s supposed to give equal time to all of his students, but he definitely has a preference. It’s a logical preference because you can’t force someone to learn, then you’ve got someone else there who's really keen. They're two very different students.
How does Daniel react when Max makes a comment about his past relationship with Bethany?
He’s shocked because as far as he’s concerned, that’s in his past. It’s the fact that David's been bad mouthing him behind closed doors. Daniel didn’t realise his reputation was still so bad in the Platt household.
When Daniel’s wallet goes missing, does he just jump to the conclusion that it must be Max?
Yes, straightaway. He sees Max hovering around his desk, so he immediately thinks Max has done it. Also, Max’s reaction to him just makes him fly off the handle. He keeps him in detention after school then actually gets physically aggressive towards him in the street.
Does Daniel realise he’s gone too far?
He definitely realises when other people start to say ‘You’re going to get fired, you can’t do this in the middle of the street.’ He’s let Max get under his skin. Then when the head calls him in for a meeting, he knows he’s overstepped a line.
Is he worried about his job?
Yes. It’s quite a process doing your PGCE and becoming a teacher, and it’s an investment that he doesn’t want to have no return on.
Coronation Street airs on Mondays and Wednesdays 7.30pm and 8.30pm with an hour-long episode at 7.30 on Fridays on ITV - see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on ITV Hub now.
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