Coronation Street schoolgirl Amy Barlow is to get a new boyfriend in the coming weeks and let’s just say that her parents Steve (Simon Gregson) and Tracy (Kate Ford) will be in no hurry to invite him around for tea.
That’s because the lad in question is Jacob Hay, the wayward teen who memorably groomed Simon Barlow - Amy’s cousin - into dealing drugs, which had horrific consequences for Si, Leanne, Nick, and, of course, little Sam.
Corrie boss Iain MacLeod spoke about the upcoming storyline at a recent press event and revealed that with Amy currently studying for her ‘A’ Levels, Steve and Tracy will worry that Jacob is going to lead her astray, and will resort to desperate lengths to try and nip the blossoming romance in the bud.
No doubt they will also be reminded of how Amy’s last relationship turned out - back in 2018, their daughter, who was then just 14, got pregnant after a fling with bad boy Tyler Jefferies.
Says Iain, “We thought ‘How would Tracy and Steve react to Amy suddenly ending up in a romantic relationship with possibly the most unsuitable boyfriend they've ever heard of?’
"Most parents with teenage children will completely relate to this, and it's very funny.
“Steve and Tracy try with increasing vigour to strategise this and go, ‘Okay, what are we going to do?’
“They’re like ‘We'll try reverse psychology. We'll try freezing him out. We'll try cutting Amy off, financially.’
“But they just make things worse and worse, to much comic effect, so in the end, they kind of have to bite the bullet and try and get along with this lad.”
Fortunately, it seems Jacob may not be such a wrong ‘un, afterall. In the best tradition of Coronation Street, he sets about trying to turn his life around, and viewers will see that he is less villain, more victim. Let’s not forget, he was groomed, himself, by gangster Harvey Gaskell.
Adds Iain, “The story we're telling from Jacob’s point of view is about redemption. We discover things about how he arrived into the drug gang we first encountered him in that will, I think, reframe people's view of him, and make you see him in a slightly different light.
“It's about him trying to put the past behind him and rehabilitate himself and make amends, where necessary, to people like Leanne and Simon.
“It's a nice story about redemption that's got a nice rom-com feel at the start of it.
“It's kind of ‘Meet the Parents,’ Coronation Street Style.”
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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.