Jack P Shepherd talks in depth about his character David Platt's inability to get over the violent death of his wife, Kylie
Hard to believe, but it's almost a year since Coronation Street nail technician, Kylie Platt, was stabbed to death on the cobbles. Actor Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt, talks about this character's grief, a potential romance with Shona and why he'd like David to get a job with Dev...
What do David and the Platts do to mark the anniversary of Kylie’s death? "They have a picnic in the garden. David has banished Shona from Weatherfield by this point, but lo and behold, she returns to the street that very day. He really loses his temper and says: 'What are you doing? This isn’t fair!' and then he finds out that Sarah’s the one who asked her to come back! She thinks that Shona is the only person who can really help Bethany."
Is David’s anger towards Shona less about who her son is and more about the fact that she deceived him when he was falling for her? "I think it’s both. If she wasn’t who she was, everything would be hunky dory and they’d be at it like rabbits now! But because she’s Clayton’s mum, he just feels like he’s betraying Kylie. He hates himself for having fancied her. He’s not in a good place, so he lashes out and gets angry."
What is David’s mood like? One year on from the tragedy, is he more at peace with Kylie’s death? "He’s quite tetchy. If anyone suggests doing something, he has to have it done a certain way. Also, Sarah’s not there, and David doesn’t know where she is. He’s like: 'She knows how important today is!'
"Shona’s arrival is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. In terms of his grief, he’s still very much in the middle of that. Or rather, he hasn’t grieved – that’s the thing. He has the kids and he’s had to be solid for them, so I don’t think he’s ever been in a position to grieve."
How do you think Kylie’s death has changed David? Do you think he’s become less trusting? Would he be less likely to enter into a relationship? "He’s not had much opportunity to get into a relationship other than with Shona, and he has always sort of put it off because of Kylie. He feels like he’s betraying her. As far as being less trusting, David’s never really trusted anyone so I don’t think that has changed. I think there’s probably more darkness to come from him…"
Do you think Kylie’s death will change him forever? "Yes; Kylie's death probably affected David more than any of the other things that have happened in his life – and lets face it, he has packed a lot into his life so far! She was the love of his life and they went through a lot together. But David is one of those people who manages to compartmentalise things, and is able to get on with his life despite what has happened."
How do you think David will cope when Clayton gets released from prison? "It would be interesting to see, depending on where his relationship is at with Shona at that stage and how much she had to do with him, whether that would be one big stumbling block too many for their relationship. How can you be a stepdad to someone who killed someone you loved?"
David has become a single parent to Max and Lily. Do you think he’s a good dad? "Yes, I think he is, ultimately, because he does everything with them – he’s always playing with them and takes them to school. But I think he may be a bit over-protective of them as they grow up, as a result of what has happened to Kylie – especially with Lily."
Can you tell us what’s on the horizon for David? Are there going to be happier times ahead? "He deserves some happiness, but whether he gets it or not is a different matter. Obviously, there’s a lot going on at the Platts at the moment, with Shona knocking about, and everything that has happened with Bethany and Nathan. And Nick has left, so there isn’t that sane person to bring the family together. It doesn’t look good for the next few weeks."
Do you think David could ever get over his bitterness and find love with Shona? "Possibly, but he’s going to have to come to terms with the fact that she is Clayton’s mum and that’s not going to change. If he wants a relationship, he’s going to have to be able to look past it, so that every time he looks at her, he doesn’t think of Clayton."
David’s not only had Kylie’s death to deal with but Nick’s departure, too. Would you like him to find a friend? "He doesn’t have any mates, does he? He’s got no one who he goes for a beer with. There was Nick, but now he has gone – I suppose that’s why he’s been chatting to Maria so much, because there literally is no one else. But he’s got two kids to bring up on his own, so it’s not like he can just nip off to the pub with his mates even if he had any. I think that’s the difficult spot that he’s in. He’s going to have to find time to get out there and meet people."
Is there anyone you’d like more scenes with, or are there any non-romantic relationships that you think would be good for David? "I’ve always said that I want more scenes with Dev. Maybe David could be in a position where he needs more money, and he gets an evening job at Dev’s shop. I imagine it opens from 7am till 11pm, but you don’t see anyone in it at night time. David could be working in it at nights, to make ends meet, and he’d be in there with Dev – that’d be interesting! It wouldn’t last long, though, because David would be sacked or he’d quit, because Dev is too much!"
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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.
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