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'Coronation Street': Jane Danson talks Leanne's wedding and future

By
Jane Danson

© Rex Features / David Fisher

Coronation Street's Leanne Barlow must decide what she wants from her future this Christmas as her wedding day arrives.

Leanne's fiancé Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) has arranged for them to tie the knot in a lavish country house ceremony on December 25, keen to make a commitment to the woman he loves.

However, when Leanne realises that ex-husband Peter (Chris Gascoyne) may still have feelings for her, she is once again torn between the two men in her life…

Digital Spy recently caught up with Jane Danson, who plays Leanne, to hear all the gossip on Coronation Street's big Christmas storyline.

How do you feel about getting a big Christmas plot?
"It's really exciting. I've often been involved in Christmas episodes but not on this scale, so it's really nice. It's also the climax to a storyline that has been running for a while, so I think it'll be good to tie it up one way or another.

"The episodes are great as there's so much going on. Generally when I'm reading my scripts I can second-guess what's coming next, but these ones really made me gasp out loud. There were elements that I definitely didn't see coming. So I'm really looking forward to seeing it, and it's probably not what the viewers will expect."

How serious are Leanne's doubts over the wedding?
"Well, it's fair to say that Peter being back on the scene has made Leanne wobble a little bit. He's back in her life and they're working together at the bookies. Leanne knows that Peter is a bit of a disaster, but she's still carrying a flame for him. He is a bad boy and he certainly brings chaos, but deep down Leanne is quite chaotic herself. She has matured a little bit over the past couple of years, but Leanne does like the drama and the excitement.

"Nick is the safer option and of course he's her childhood sweetheart, so there's also a strong history between those two. So you'll see that Leanne is quite torn in the build-up to the wedding."

Corrie, Leanne and Peter go ice skating, Mon 17 Dec

© ITV



Does Leanne actually love Nick?
"I do think she loves him very much. Leanne thinks he's a nice guy, she's attracted to him and he makes her laugh. He ticks all the boxes, but her heart is also pining for Peter.

"Leanne does care for Nick a lot and in her own way she does love him, but the minute that Peter is around, her eye is turned a little bit. I think it's a question of whether you can ever truly love someone if another person is on the backburner."

According to reports, on the eve of the ceremony, Peter suggests to Leanne that they should get back together. How does she react to that?
"In some ways, it's music to Leanne's ears. But Peter doesn't actually directly say, 'We should give it another go', as I don't think he knows what he wants himself. I think maybe Leanne misinterprets it slightly or hears what she wants to hear. Peter does admit that they were good together, but he's not really 100% sure himself.

"So Leanne doesn't know where she stands - her head is all over the place. She's grasping onto something that he might have meant in a different way, plus she is slightly drunk when he says it! I think she's reading way more into it than Peter necessarily means, but at the same time, he has put something out there for her to grasp hold of."

Does Nick have any inkling that Leanne is having doubts?
"I think, deep down, Nick is feeling like second best. But what's really interesting is that we start to see a different side to Nick. You'll see a much tougher side to him in the way that he deals with his feelings. He's usually quite sensitive and just goes with the flow, but in the build-up to Christmas, you'll see him getting a little bit harder, particularly towards Peter.

"Nick and Peter will come to blows a couple of times, and it's great to see those two having the slanging match rather than Carla and Leanne!"

How does Leanne feel on the morning of the ceremony?
"Well let's put it this way, she gets ready and puts her dress on, so she's halfway there! But there's also a little voice in her head thinking, 'What if I didn't go to this wedding?' It's playing on her mind, but she does get ready for the day ahead."

Leanne Barlow's wedding day

© ITV



Is is true that Eva is also trying to cause trouble?
"Yes - in the lead-up to the wedding, Eva has already done a lot of stirring between Peter, Nick and Leanne. In her heart, she wants to be with Nick herself and she thinks that Leanne is trash. She'll do anything in her power to make sure this wedding doesn't happen…"

What can you tell us about Leanne's choice of dress and the venue?
"I think the idea that the production wanted was almost like a winter wonderland theme for the whole day. Everything is really quite graceful, but it's surrounded by all this drama that's going on! Visually, the outfit and the flowers are very serene, glam and Narnia-esque. But it's in the middle of one big mess.

"The wedding scenes were filmed on location at Knowsley Hall, which was absolutely beautiful - there was wonderful scenery and it was a brilliant venue. The design team made lots of fairy lights and dressed it really beautifully. It's very cosy and Christmassy.

"It's really pretty to look at, but there's a lot of drama to be had amongst all that. Whether Leanne actually makes it down the aisle there is what I can't give away!"

Will it be a white Christmas on Corrie to fit in with that winter wonderland theme?
"I think it's fair to say there's a sprinkling of snow here and there!"

Whatever happens, will the wedding have a big aftermath?
"Definitely - the great thing is that it opens up a few more stories that haven't even been mentioned yet. So it's not just about a wedding - there's lots more going on around it which we're yet to see. It's the start of a few new storylines for lots of the characters involved. The impact the wedding has for other people is quite important."

Does Leanne and Nick's big day go as smoothly as planned?

© ITV



As Jane, do you have any strong opinions on whether Leanne should be with Peter or Nick?
"Well, I've been really fortunate because I get on so well with both Ben and Chris, and we've all worked closely together for a number of years now. That makes filming together very easy.

"From a character point of view, I don't think Leanne should be with anybody! She's spent so much time bouncing back and forth between Nick and Peter. Having said that, Leanne just wants to love and that is her eternal quest - she wants the life that she didn't have as a child. My personal view is that she should broaden her horizons and start again!"

After so much bickering, do you think Peter, Leanne, Nick and Carla could ever call a truce for Simon's sake?
"Certainly what we're all aware of is that we don't want people to get bored of us. Sometimes there's a danger that these storylines can keep going round and round in circles, but the great thing is that all of these characters have got history. You can abandon it for a while, but they'll always have that history together.

"I think we can go off, explore different things and always return to it at a later date. Hopefully that means coming back to it with new ideas and taking things forward. It's really important to do that, as it keeps us on our toes. We get an opportunity to work with different people and learn new things."

Is it true that there's a glimpse of Leanne's wilder side in the Christmas episodes?
"Yes, what I love is that there's a nod to Leanne's past on her hen night. You'll see her get really drunk - she reverts to the Leanne of old, starts smoking and gets a little bit lairy. That was quite fun because I've not done that for a while!

"Leanne has become quite sensible in the past couple of years and she's finally matured, but just occasionally, Leanne Battersby comes out. I'd personally fight a bit more for that because it's certainly fun to play and it shows a different side to the character."

Will you watch Corrie on Christmas Day?
"Because we've all worked so hard on it, I'll certainly make time to sit down and watch it. Maybe not at the exact time it's on, but later in the day when the kids are in bed. I'll definitely be watching and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that it's panned out as I hoped!"

> Read the latest 'Coronation Street' spoilers and news

Coronation Street airs Leanne's wedding dramas in an hour-long episode on Christmas Day at 7.30pm on ITV1. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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