Little Mason will turn Toyah’s world upside down…
Coronation Street actress Georgia Taylor, better known as Toyah Battersby, has lifted the lid on a very different Christmas for Toyah and her partner Imran Habeeb, who will become emergency foster parents to a baby boy, Mason.
The couple are contacted by Social Services about the placement on Christmas Eve, and have just minutes to prepare for the tot’s arrival.
The special delivery is a dream come true for Toyah, who has long wanted to be a mum and had several unsuccessful rounds of IVF, first with husband Toby and then with former partner Peter Barlow.
Speaking of the moment Toyah is handed the tot, Georgia says: “It means everything to Toyah. This is something she has wanted for most of her adult life. The child arrives on Christmas Eve night, so Christmas Day is her and Imran getting to grips with this little boy.
“They’re in a bit of a whirlwind. The flat's upside down, there are toys everywhere, milk sterilisers, and it's all crazy. Toyah doesn't get out of her pyjamas all day. But she's loving it. Although it's stressful, she's really thriving.”
The placement is due to be for just 24 hours, to cover the period of time that the baby’s biological mother is in hospital. But Toyah and Imran (Charlie de Melo) are soon asked if they can have the child for a little longer.
"They're thrilled,” adds Georgia, “but it’s a little bit dangerous, I guess, because the longer they spend with the child, the more attached they're going to get."
And that's certainly the case for Toyah, for when Social Services later announce they’re coming to collect the baby, she's devastated.
Reveals Georgia: “Imran takes the call while Toyah is in the bedroom with Mason, chatting away with him, living her best life and just loving it. He has to break the news to her.
“She's trying to act like everything's okay and they have to be practical and pack up Mason's toys. But it's quite obvious that deep down, she's quite crushed, and finding it really difficult."
MORE: Seven big Christmas and New Year Corrie stories revealed (opens in new tab)
Unbeknown to Toyah, Imran takes another call from Social Services shortly after, who reveal that they have another baby who needs looking after. But the solicitor believes his partner needs time to deal with Mason's departure, and turns the placement down.
This doesn’t go down well with Toyah when Imran finally comes clean.
“She’s furious!” says Georgia. “He just wants to protect her and thinks they need a bit of breathing space, but she thinks he's gone behind her back – which he has, because he hasn't discussed it with her.
“Also, she thinks he's making some kind of comment about her emotional stability. She finds that quite frustrating, because although she was upset to say goodbye to this child, she's got it together, and it's not for him to tell her that she needs to have a break.
“There's a bit of friction there, which I think is good to show. I admire anyone who puts themselves in the position of becoming foster parents, going through stresses, trials and tribulations. It's not easy, is it?"
Coronation Street continues 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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