Michelle Connor is on a mission to build bridges with her biological son Alex Neeson in Coronation Street as he comes face to face with him in the medical centre after years. But he is not set to make things easy for her as he gives her the cold shoulder.
With Michelle’s other ‘son’ Ryan also due to return, Michelle is in for a busy time and when we sat down with This Is England star James Burrows, who has joined the cast as Ali, he hinted that not everything is as it seems.
Suggesting that Ali may not be being honest about his role as a trainee GP, James confirmed to Metro.co.uk that his character has an ulterior motive but he was keen to stress that he isn’t playing a villain.
He explained: ‘They made some contact a few years ago but he’s been away at medical school and he’s come back, says he’s doing a placement – but is he?He is going to be standoff-ish for a while – in the next few weeks will see that all unfold but it will reach a point where they make amends.
‘Generally he’s a nice guy, a normal lad. He might have a slightly darker side in the way he’s being with Michelle but he’s not a baddie. He has a chip on his shoulder, a bit of swagger, a bit of attitude and a fair few issues!
‘There’s lots I cant say right now. All is not as it seems. Did he orchestrate coming to the street? He claims he was sent there – but it’s really complex. He says it’s a placement but he might have an ulterior motive. It will all unfold…’
How mysterious! James hinted that in time, Ali will have an eye for the ladies but he was not about to drop any names, no matter what pressure we put him under. And he added that for now, his focus would be on his tension with Michelle – and with Ryan.
He warned: ‘With Ryan, there is a lot of hatred there and maybe some sort of jealousy as well. It’s a Cain and Abel scenario – it might get interesting. But this is not a dark story, it’s very relationship based.
‘It’s not been long since Michelle lost a biological son and now she’s faced with the one she didn’t think she’d see again – why is he there? She assumes he’ll be open with her and he’s not but it’s not a case of him being a villain twiddling a moustache – it’s actually a complicated relationship.’
Confirming that he will be a regular role in the show and will be long term depending on fan reaction, James revealed that there was celebration in his family when he got the part.
He said: ‘I celebrated with close family and friends back in Derby – we went out and had a few drinks. My mum and nana are massive fans of the show. I watched the first episode with a friend, it was great and I’m quite happy with it so looking forward to seeing more. I had some lovely messages from my mum.’
And he has been made just as welcome at Corrie – especially by co-star Kym Marsh. He smiled: ‘Everyone’s been very welcoming, Kym especially – she’s taken me under her wing a little bit. A lot of my scenes are with her – she’s been great, a really nice woman.
‘I wasn’t nervous on my first day because it’s not my first job or anything but it’s a very well established show, slightly overwhelming and very surreal walking down the cobbles for the first time. I was brought up watching it on TV so it’s a bit crazy!’
Michelle comes face to face with Alex on Friday 16th February at 7:30pm on ITV.