In the wake of massive revelations in Coronation Street that Damon Hay (Ciaran Griffiths) is Harvey Gaskell (Will Mellor)’s brother and he’s using the bistro as a front to deal drugs, Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) is not a happy woman.
Harvey Gaskell previously made her life hell when he recruited Simon (Alex Bain) to deal drugs for him at a time when Leanne was grieving for her son Oliver. It was one of the lowest points in Leanne’s life, and discovering that there’s someone with such a close connection to Gaskell working alongside her is devastating news – and more so when she realises that Nick (Ben Price) is aware of who he is.
Jane told us that Leanne had initially put her reservations about Damon aside. ‘I think at first she was a bit suspicious of him because he was quite overly friendly and he was saying he was a good friend of Nick’s, although Nick had never mentioned him before,’ she said. ‘He’s one of those characters that on the surface is quite a cheeky chappie and lovable then underneath there’s an undercurrent of badness.’
Ultimately Leanne decides to trust Nick, but makes it clear that he’s responsible if things go wrong with Damon. ‘I think she’s got a bit of a hunch there’s something not right about this,’ Jane said.
‘Leanne’s been around the block a few times herself and she’s not stupid. She has her moments but fundamentally she’s pretty switched on, she’s feisty and strong and she doesn’t like to be walked over. So she lays the ground rules down straight away and says if this all goes wrong it’s not on me it’s on you.’
Leanne feels ‘devastated’ when Nick admits who Damon is, Jane said.
Coronation Street star confirms return of Nick’s dark side‘It will be interesting to see if she can deal with it differently to how she normally does but her default mode is just explode and think later. So she kind of does that true to form at first, she’s just so upset. She needs space to work out how she feels because I don’t think she even really knows how she feels, she’s not had the chance to digest everything that’s happened.’
While Leanne is traumatised by developments, as an actress Jane is very much enjoying the drama of having a new villain in the Street – or possibly two.
‘Damon has certainly injected a lot of drama into the bistro, and Ciaran who’s playing Damon is brilliant,’ she enthused.
‘In terms of characters I think it’s great for Nick because we’re seeing him being a bit bit villainous himself as well. He’s not being honest and he’s doing things that are detrimental to his own position and his own life. It’s bringing out a villainous side of Nick too which I think is really good.’
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