Should 'Coronation Street' fans feel sorry for Kelly Neelan?
Bad girl Kelly Neelan was totally down-on-her-luck on tonight's Coronation Street...
Kelly Neelan (played by Millie Gibson) may have finally been released from that Young Offenders Institute... but now it seems her life is going from bad to worse on Coronation Street.
Kelly doesn't feel welcome back on the Street after her involvement in the hate crime attack that led to the death of Seb Franklin.
Although it was Corey Brent who was found guilty of causing Seb's death and landing Seb's girlfriend, Nina Lucas (Mollie Gallagher) in hospital, many of the Weatherfield locals remain convinced that Kelly is guilty by association.
So on tonight's DOUBLE-BILL of the ITV soap, we saw homeless Kelly roughing it on the streets of Weatherfield.
After Kelly's bag of belongings got stolen and her mobile phone battery went flat, she sneaked into a hotel to charge her phone.
A suspicious hotel receptionist Anita (Shamia Chalabi) challenged Kelly on whether she was a hotel guest.
Just when it looked like Kelly was caught-out, a suited and booted businessman, Alan (Gareth Kane) came to her rescue, claiming Kelly was his "daughter" and they were both staying in Room 34!
But awful Alan had an ulterior motive in helping Kelly.
After telling Kelly that he thought she was beautiful, he told her to knock on his hotel door if she needed anything else.
Desperate for money, Kelly eventually took Alan up on his offer.
But things took an alarming turn when sleazy Alan began to get physical and made it clear he wanted to sleep with her...
While Alan was in the shower, Kelly attempted to steal the businessman's wallet and do a runner.
Unfortunately, Alan caught her in the act and Kelly had no choice but to fight back against the predator and make her escape...
Kelly broke down in tears after the SHOCK incident in the hotel room.
So the question is, should we now be feeling sorry for Kelly?
Sure, the character was introduced into Coronation Street in 2019 as the daughter of nasty loan shark, Rick Neelan.
So she certainly arrived with a bad reputation!
And more recently, she did herself no favours with her nasty bullying of Nina and subsequent involvement in the attack on Nina and Seb.
But hey, we've certainly seen plenty of other soap characters redeemed in the past, including murderers!
Coronation Street star Millie Gibson, who plays the character, reckons viewers are slowly starting to see a different side to Kelly...
"At first everyone hated her but now we’ve seen the other side and what actually happened, some people do feel the way she was treated in court was harsh," she says.
"It’s a hard judgement to call, is she villain or victim, I think she’s both. She did start things off that night with the slap and the vindictive behaviour.
"But now people are starting to see her vulnerability I think some people are warming to her."
Coronation Street continues on Friday 19 November at 7:30pm on ITV.
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Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters.
Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave?
Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!
Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy.
He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.
Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)
And the writer and director of (very!) low budget fright flick, Midsummer Night's EVIL and the sequel webisodes series, The Hatchet Woods HORROR.