Coronation Street’s Leanne Battersby has been in the thick of the action on the cobbles lately and it’s only going to get worse for her.
Not only is her sister Toyah having it off with her ex husband, Peter Barlow, Leanne is also carrying Steve McDonald’s baby, a secret she’s desperate to keep.
But when she gives birth to a baby boy next week, Leanne is going to find herself under increasing pressure. Here Jane Danson, who plays Leanne, reveals all…
How is Leanne feeling about her pregnancy at this point?
It is fair to say it has been quite a traumatic journey with everything that has happened o she is ready to get on with life and concentrate in being a mum.
How has Michelle and Steve’s loss of Ruairi affected her?
It has really affected her because there is a hell of a lot going on there , not least guilt because she has befriended Michelle throughout this whole journey. Leanne has found herself in a similar situation, she lost a baby herself so she knows something of how michelle is feeling so she just feels incredibly guilty. She knows it is difficult for michelle wathcing her going on with her pregnancy but with the added layer of guilt over the fact she is. That is what I love about the story there are so many layers to it and it can go off in so many directions. So many people are involved now indirectly not knowing they are involved and some people who know don’t know that other people do.
Has her relationship with Nick suffered or become closer?
A bit of both – in some ways they are determined to stand together and be a family unit and we have lot of history and been through so much. It has made them stand together but it is pushing them emotionally apart because Leanne will feel naturally that it is wrong to lie to her son, ultimately it is about her son rather than Steve or Nick. She has been abandoned all her life, now she has this baby and she is determined to be honest with him as soon as he can understand, everybody has lied to Leanne or abandoned her at some point so she won’t want to do the same.
Is her relationship with Toyah salvageable?
Yes I think so, at the end of the day they are sisters and when push comes to shove no matter what she feels about what has gone on with Peter I think they will also be there for each other.
How does she feel about her relationship with Peter?
She is not very pleased, it is not the fact that they are together it is the fact that they betrayed her and she knows what Peter is like so she is worried about Toyah as well as feeling betrayed. She knows him so well she knows he could ruin Toyah’s life at any given minute.
Do you think Leanne should forgive Toyah?
I think there is room to forgive – her hormones are all over the place and she is stressed but I hope she does forgive her. She forgives Eva first because she was doing it for the right reasons to protect Simon and she was stuck between a bit of a rock and a hard place. The added thing with Toyah is that she could have confided – for Eva it is someone else’s secret
Talk us through the moment up to when Leanne’s waters break?
In typical Leanne style she is having a row with Toyah but all days she has been getting twinges and ignoring it. She reconciles with Eva and then in the middle of the argument with Toyah her waters break.
How does Toyah deal with the situation?
Toyah is a caring person, she has always had the softer side so she is very calming and is there to calm Leanne down even though they were in the middle of a big row.
What were the scenes like to film?
I have never acted giving birth before, it is the first time I have given birth on screen although I’ve done it twice in real life. It was weirdly exhausting, it was a very heavy day. Her birth is very very different from others we have seen on Corrie for reasons I won’t go into, but it is Leanne’s first baby and the birth situation is not ideal. She is terrified and it was technically difficult and there was a lot of dialogue which isn’t usually the case for the person giving birth. She doesn’t make it to hospital and she doesn’t have medical assistance so it was quite intense.
Why do they choose the name Oliver?
She likes it, it’s very traditional and classic.
What does Nick make of the baby’s arrival?
Obviously because of this whole journey the one thing they wanted to do was go through the birth together to help him bond with the baby but because of the way it happens he is not there. As soon as he is born the realisation that he is not his dad hits home, he will be there for him and be his dad but they both know that there is this obstacle and it’s got very real, it is a child that is not his yet again, like Simon.
Is Steve on Leanne’s mind at this point?
Not initially but after a few days she realises having been out and about on the street a little bit that Steve and Liz and Michelle are in her orbit and the reality will kick in
Why does she make her decision regarding Oliver’s birth certificate?
It is back to the fact that she was abandoned and was lied to and she has finally realised that it doesn’t get you anywhere and she wants to start on the right foot and leave the name blank. Simon doesn’t a mum but Oliver’s dad exists and if Nick’s name is on the birth certificate it is a big lie.
How’s Leanne feeling as the Bistro party kicks off?
Leanne is incredibly tired ad we see that. The whole thing has been driven by David who wants them to do it for Gail. She is the proud grandma. They want to pacify Gail. It is a bit of a family do and of course Leanne can think of nothing worse and would rather put her feet up in the flat.
How worried is she about the secret coming out?
Given that Steve all the way along has said he doesn’t want anything to do with it she wasn’t at all worried but then Michelle lost the baby and that changes everything. If their baby had been born and been fine it might have been different. But it isn’t the one thing occupying her mind, she has so much going on.
Now Oliver has arrived, can Leanne deal with the reality of bringing him up so close to Steve?
She knows she has to, leaving is not an option and she can only hope he will keep his side of the bargain. She is also bringing up Simon round the corner from Peter, it’s like an episode of Jeremy Kyle.
Are you looking forward to how the storyline pans out?
It has been a tough story in so many different ways but from a dramatic point of view it is brilliant as it so clever. It goes off in so many different tangents, everybody has a part to play in it and I’ve never been able to second guess where it is going to go. I am enjoying getting my scripts and the fact that I am getting to work with so many different people. Before this storyline Kym and I never had scenes together really in ten years.
What would you advice to Leanne be?
I think she should have come cleaner a lot sooner in reality, she puts things off and thinks she will deal with them later but here we are 8 months on and nothing is ever simple for Leanne. Being a mum first and foremost is what will drive her.