Chris Gascoyne has revealed that Coronation Street are about to visit the darkest side of his character Peter Barlow when he discovers that Billy Mayhew was involved in the car crash that killed his sister Susan and starts to formulate a shocking and deadly revenge plan.
Billy is at court facing charges of assaulting Peter but, feeling that Billy has been through enough, Peter takes the stand and pleads for leniency.
It pays off and Billy is released but outside of the court, a fight between two men breaks out and Billy wades in to stop it. He is pushed to the ground and a metal lucky charm from Summer is driven into his leg where it pierces a blood vessel.
And it’s when Billy lies bleeding heavily that Peter discovers a shocking secret.
Chris told us: ‘Billy thinks at this point that he’s going to die, so he confesses to Peter about Susan all those years ago. Peter takes his hand off the wound and watches him to start to die, but then comes back to his senses and puts his hand back on again.
‘Up to that point it’s just shock for Peter, he can’t take in what he’s just told him. Then later, he starts to formulate some sort of mad, misguided revenge plot in his head.’
So just what does Peter have in store for Billy? Chris promised us that it’s dark and something that fans may not expect of his character.
He went on: ‘I’m not quite sure Peter knows what he’s doing. He wants to make him feel what Susan felt. But he kind of goes beyond that. It’s very dark. It’s probably the darkest part of the character.
‘Peter forces him to drink two bottles of vodka. Then he locks him in the boot of his car. I’ve not done this side of Peter before, I don’t think I’ve ever gone quite this far with him. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing. Whatever it is, it’s a very bad choice he’s making.’
And Chris admitted that he sometimes found it hard to get to grips with Peter behaving in this way but has placed his faith in the scriptwriters.
He explained: ‘You just have to roll with it, certainly on this show. You can be doing one thing one week and the next thing you’re doing something completely contradictory to that. As an actor you can go, “Well, would he do that?” but because the show rolls on so quick, people can’t remember what happened four or five episodes ago.
‘So you have to go with it, if you start saying, “I think my character wouldn’t say that” then you’re going to make an awful lot of trouble for yourself. Like Peter and Daniel, the last thing I said to him was, “I never want to see you again”. But then we go out and buy a Christmas tree! That was a very strong statement at the end of that episode but we’re now two months later.
‘So what we’ve done is have these huge, brilliant scenes off screen that you’ll never see where they have reconciled and moved on. That’s all you can do really.’
And the trouble between Billy and Peter is set to have huge repercussions for the Barlow family as a whole.
Chris teased: ‘There’s another big strand that brings up family, it’s huge. It certainly brings up massive issues with Ken and Peter. He feels he can’t tell Toyah, you’ll realise why he can’t tell anyone when you see Christmas Day!’