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Exclusive: Summer Preview: Corrie
I think the turning point over the past couple of weeks came in Monday night's episode when Liz (Bev Callard) returned from her mini break. And things take a turn for the worse for Vernon (Ian Reddington) on Sunday when Derek spills the beans about his affair with Liz.
And speaking of Ian Reddington, there have been rumblings on the forums suggesting that he's leaving the Street after Liz's affair is exposed. This isn't true in the slightest. We do, however, see him threaten to head of to Marbella. But a few of his and Liz's favourite songs later, he's back on the Cobbles. I'm told that Ian Reddington is "very much staying with the show" and it'll be a case of 'will Vernon forgive Liz or not?' over the summer months. Or will he embark on an affair? That is the question.
Zaraah Abrahams – Corrie's Joanna Jackson – is, as we all know, leaving. However, there's been a lot of uncertainty over when she'll be leaving Weatherfield. A lot of viewers thought that her immigration storyline was the last we'd see of her. Nope – she's back on screen and is winding Carla (Alison King) up something rotten. Joanne is sacked this Friday (July 13) and her final scenes with the soap transmit a week later on Friday, July 20 when Carla pays Joanne off after she threatens to take Underworld to a tribunal for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment by Liam (Rob-James Collier).
Also at the factory, Liam's not impressed when Carla begins dating one of Paul's former business colleagues. Adamant that her actions aren't what she truly wants, things soon become heated between the pair and it's evident that Liam's actions aren't just to protect his late brother's memory. Will he act on his feelings? Will Carla reciprocate? More to the point, what will Maria (Samia Smith) have to say when she finds out?
Elsewhere, fresh reports emerged (again) in the tabloids last week suggesting that Suranne Jones has signed a new contract to head back to Weatherfield as Karen McDonald. Unfortunately, this is pure speculation as a spokesperson confirmed to me: "Karen was a hugely popular character but it's nothing more than speculation at the moment."
Suranne, if you're reading this…
Meanwhile, Violet (Jenny Platt) and Jamie (Rupert Hill) have been a hot topic of debate on the forums, with a lot of people asking whether Jenny is actually leaving or not. Well, I can confirm that she is, indeed, leaving but not until the beginning of next year – around the same time as Rupert.
When Violet and Sean's (Antony Cotton) DIY fertility treatment pays off, they soon find themselves looking forward to the birth of their first child. However, Sean completely throws the situation when he falls for their sonographer at the first scan.
A Street source told me: "Things get more than complicated when Sean falls for someone at the hospital. Violet's left home alone, holding the baby - before she's even given birth!
“It's not long before she turns to her ex, Jamie, for some home comforts. Their friendship soon blossoms into a rekindling of their romance. But the imbalance of four parents and one baby proves too much for Violet to handle and she finds herself having to make one of the toughest decisions of her life."
Over at the Platts' Sarah (Tina O'Brien) and Jason (Ryan Thomas) continue planning for their wedding and, as usual, David (Jack P Shepherd) is on-hand to stir the situation up a little.
My source continued: "David can't believe it when a near-tragedy results in him being banished from his home. So David plans the ultimate revenge, a master plan which sees him determined to ensure Sarah and Jason don't even reach the end of the aisle."
The Ashley (Steven Arnold), Claire (Julie Haworth), Casey (Zoe Henry) love triangle continues over the summer. And as we know, Ashley takes things a step further at the end of the month when he kisses Casey while Claire is staying at her mother’s. The following week, one thing leads to another and… well I’m sure you know where it’s headed.
Paul Duckworth (Tom Hudson) continues to cause a stir on the Street. And Tyrone (Alan Halsall) has already pledged to keep a close eye on him. Is he dodgy? Or is his heart in the right place? It all seems like it is when he starts work at Leanne’s (Jane Danson) restaurant – but surely he’ll turn out to be a baddie? Right?
One thing that has puzzled me over the past few weeks is why Corrie producers introduced John Stape (Graeme Hawley). What purpose is her serving? At the moment, everyone’s being tight-lipped as to his future with Fiz (Jennie McAlpine) but I am told that there’s a big storyline just around the corner. Who knows what it could be? Chances are that he’s already married, has a child or is gay. It could be interesting…
And finally, there’s been no official word on the casting of Hayley’s (Julie Hesmondhalgh) secret son. But that all kicks off over the summer, too. We should start seeing the beginnings of it all by the end of next month.