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'Coronation Street' Debbie Rush: 'Faye's bullying devastates Anna'

By
Debbie Rush

© WENN / Lia Toby

Debbie Rush



Coronation Street's Anna Windass is left horrified next week as she discovers that her adopted daughter Faye has targeted Simon Barlow in a nasty case of bullying.

Anna sees damning proof of the schoolgirl's bad behaviour when a video goes viral showing Simon smeared in make-up and dressed in girls' clothing thanks to Faye (Ellie Leach).

While troublemaker Grace Piper came up with the idea, the video shows Faye as the main culprit - leading to a very worrying situation for the Windass family when the police get involved…

Here, Debbie Rush - who plays Anna - previews the big moments ahead in the bullying story.

How does Anna feel when she finds out about Faye's bullying?
"She's absolutely devastated. Anna has always thought Grace was an angel with perfect manners, so she's struggling to believe this is all actually happening. She's gutted."

Why didn't Anna realise that Grace was a bad influence?
"Anna liked Grace right from the off. I think she was just really pleased that Faye had found a really good friend at school, especially as Faye's always seemed to be at a bit of a loss. Anna has just been happy that Faye's moving forward and getting on with other girls at school. However, because Owen's really suspicious and thinks Grace is a bad lot, Anna starts to reassess and wonders whether she's got Grace all wrong."

Does Anna begin to blame herself for the way Faye's been behaving?
"I think Anna is guilty, yes. I think she feels as though she's taken her eye off the ball because she's been heavily involved with Roy and Hayley and helping out at the café. Anna's been a bit of a confidante to Roy, so she's been preoccupied with concern for them.

"As far as Anna's concerned, Owen's just being overly harsh - as he can be - and is maybe thinking too much into the situation. It's not really until things start to unravel that Anna starts to see just how serious a situation Faye's found herself in. I think Anna feels as though she's not dealt with it as well as she should have done. It's only really when Anna is presented with evidence of her ways that she starts to see things differently and for what they really are."

Faye and Grace make a nuisance of themselves to Sally.

© ITV

Grace and Faye



Do you think Anna is more overprotective towards Faye than she was with Gary, because of the childhood she's had?
"I think she's overprotective full stop. I think she makes more allowances for Faye because Faye's not had a proper upbringing. She's been passed from pillar to post so she's got a lot to learn. Even though Anna's a natural nurturer, she does give a little bit more to Faye because she's never had it."

Anna is eventually shown the video of Faye, Grace and Simon. How does she deal with that?
"When she first sees the video, she can't quite believe it. She's sickened to the pit of her stomach - that's how I've played it. Anna looks at Faye differently for the rest of the day. She starts to panic and her mind goes into overdrive. Anna wonders if Faye can do that as a child, what else is she capable of? She could be capable of anything.

"It's not really until the end of that day that she starts to really see sense. Anna does know deep down that Faye isn't bad and evil - she's just been led astray."

Anna is distraught when she sees the video.

© ITV

Anna is distraught when she sees the video.



How does Faye deal with being interrogated by the police?
"She's terrified, like any other 11 year-old would be. Also Faye's been strung along. She's done everything she's done just so Grace would be her friend. Faye doesn't want to be ostracised again and doesn't want to drop her mate in it.

"When the police interview her she's terrified, but Faye is probably more scared about what Grace will do if she puts her name to the police. It's only when Anna tells her how serious the situation is that Faye starts to realise she needs to tell the truth."

Does Anna try to discuss it with Grace's mum?
"Anna references a couple of conversations she tries to have with Grace's mum, but she's not interested. Her mum doesn't want to know, and also on the video you only really see Faye."

Faye is questioned by the police.

© ITV

Faye is questioned by the police.



Why do Peter and Leanne later agree to drop the charges?
"Probably because they realise that Faye is just a little girl and that she's been punished enough. Anna has also begged them to drop it. Faye has apologised and knows she has a lot to prove."

Is Owen supportive?
"If anything, this has brought Anna and Owen closer together. What we're seeing emerge is that Anna is maybe a little too soft, and Owen a little too harsh and the pair together are giving a good, equal balance in the house. He's been Anna's rock, really."

How do you feel about Ellie's work on the story?
"She works so hard, especially as she has schoolwork to do as well. She gets a lot of homework as she's at secondary school now. She always knows her lines and she's a joy to work with."

> Read more 'Coronation Street' spoilers and news

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.

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