Doctors and nutritionists have been brought on board
Prepare to see Peter Barlow in Coronation Street as you’ve never seen him before.
Actor Chris Gascoyne, who plays the Weatherfield cabbie, is going to extreme lengths for a forthcoming storyline in which Peter will set out to drink himself to death.
Alcoholic Peter recently fell off the wagon after discovering partner Carla had slept with his nephew Adam.
After spending time in Scotland, he returns to the cobbles next week and, during a hospital check up, is given the bad news that despite a period of sobriety, his liver function hasn’t improved.
When a fellow patient then remarks that alcoholics don’t deserve transplants, Peter presses the self destruct button. He rejects Daniel’s offer to be his liver donor, and starts openly drinking again.
Reveals show producer Iain MacLeod: “Peter is obviously a very self destructive character, and his self destruction will be taken to new depths with this chapter of his addiction story.
“Having been speaking to Chris Gascoyne, who plays Peter, he’s very keen to go full method actor, and really immerse himself in Peter’s physical deterioration. So we’re having discussions with doctors and nutritionists about how we can best represent Peter’s current fall from grace, and make it as visually shocking and realistic as possible.
“Peter’s been told many times, ‘Your next drink could kill you’, and we felt that we had to make good on that to a degree, and go right to the end with what would happen to Peter and his body if he hit the bottle again. So we’re going to take that to as realistic a conclusion as we possibly can.”
But for fans fearing that Peter will end up in Weatherfield heaven, there’s good news. MacLeod has added that happy times are on the horizon for Peter and long-term lover Carla.
He explains: “There is a such a large amount of self loathing in Peter, and he will essentially decide on a course that you might describe as a kind of slow suicide. That will come to the attention of his loved ones, who will be horrified to think that he’s prepared to entertain a slow slide to the grave, so there’s a real battle to convince him that he wants to live.
“It’s hugely heart rending and emotional, and there are massive scenes for Peter and Carla where, because she loves him so much, she has to behave in a way that she knows will make Peter hate her in the short term - she’s prepared to have him hate her because she loves him too much to let him go.
“It’s complicated stuff and very grown up drama, and I hope that by the end of it, fans of Peter and Carla will feel that this has been the ultimate love story played out over 20 years.
“It will finally have a happy ending, which I know sometimes looks like it’s a long long way away with those too!”
Coronation Street continues on ITV.
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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.