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Gray O'Brien (Tony Gordon, Corrie)

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Gray O'Brien (Tony Gordon, Corrie)
Next week sees the much-anticipated murder of Coronation Street's Liam Connor (Rob-James Collier), when Weatherfield's evil entrepreneur Tony Gordon (Gray O'Brien) exacts his ultimate revenge. Three endings for Liam's demise have been filmed and his final episodes will transmit in a 24-style arc of episodes which span the final 24 hours of his life. Here, Digital Spy chats with Gray O'Brien about the week of episodes, his ideal ending and which he hopes the producers will choose.

You initially started out life on Corrie as a relatively minor character, and now you've become Mr Evil of Weatherfield. You must be quite proud.
"To be honest, I knew that the character was always heading in this direction. The great thing with Coronation Street is that rather than bring a character in big and bouncy from the start, they bring them in bubbling. When characters bubble along, you know they're going to rise through the ranks. It's taken six months and now we're right in the middle of it. It's gone off in a slightly different direction than I expected it to. When people suggest that they want to move on, it changes where the writers have to take a character. That's why it's such an organic process because they don't set anything in stone. It's great from our point of view because you open scripts and you think 'ooh, that's interesting' and it builds from there. It's a wonderful exit for Rob [James-Collier] and it's great to be involved in it."

It appears Tony doesn't have any boundaries at all when it comes to getting what he wants…
"He does have boundaries - and the boundaries are that he won't be told 'no'. Anything up to that point is good enough. I don't think he's a murderous person. Tony killing Liam is just circumstances. He's come from nothing and has worked his way up. He's a respected businessman and he thinks it's all about fairness - you play with the sword, you die by the sword. He truly believes that everyone has a price. Up until this point, that's his game. His ambition is that he wants to retire in his mid 40s with several million in the bank. But now, something's come up to stop all that - Liam."

What happens on Tony's stag night?
"In a nutshell, I go for a drink and I kill Liam! There's actually nine of us on the stag do and everyone's wearing a Tony Gordon mask – and that was quite spooky. All five episodes span an entire day. The first morning we were filming, we were in Roy's Rolls for breakfast, we then go off paintballing, then to a city centre bar, then to a curry house and finally to a lap dancing bar. It's been organised by Liam and Tony's a bit embarrassed by it really, but he gets into the spirit of it and enjoys it."

What was it like filming the three endings?
"We've filmed three completely different endings for Liam's death but obviously they have the same outcome! We did spend time filming all three so that producers can have the final decision as to which ending they want to go with. It has no gravitas with the aftermath - you've got to deal with a death and a burial."

What happens in each of the three endings?
"The first was shot at the paintballing. Tony hits Liam with the paintball gun and tell him that the game's over. We have a bit of a chat and I pull out a real gun from my waistband and erase him that way. The second is after the stag do when everyone goes back to Tony's apartment. Liam and Tony are eventually left on their own when everyone disappears. We're on the balcony talking about the flats and Tony leans over the edge, drops a bottle, warns Liam to be careful and I throw him over and claim it was a drunken accident. The final ending is a hit and run that Tony's set up."

Do you know which ending they're going to choose?
"They have all three endings on tape upstairs, but I don't know if they've made a decision yet."

Which do you hope they'll choose?
"I like the paintballing one. I just like the idea of Tony having a gun."

If the writers came to you for an idea, how would you have killed Liam off?
"I'd have liked to have tied him to a lead table and put a laser between his legs and when Liam says 'do you expect me to talk', Tony would say 'no, Mr Connor, I expect you to die'. I'd have honestly gone for the laser, but they told me it was a little far-fetched."

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