“It’s like the end of the Formula One” joked a surprised Simon Gregson as he entered the set of the Rovers Return with Kym Marsh at the Corrie Press Day on Friday to find an enthusiastic bunch, including our editor Glenda and myself, mingling and chatting as we waited to hear all about Steve and Michelle’s baby drama. Although sadly for Steve, he’s probably more used to having pints thrown over him than bottles of champagne.
As revealed on Friday’s Corrie, we now know that he is the father of Leanne’s baby, but things are about to get even more complicated, as wife Michelle discovers she’s pregnant too.
So how do Kym and Steve feel about the drama to come? They’re looking forward to what Kym tells us is going to be an interesting and dramatic storyline for them. “It depends what the baby’s like” adds Simon, “some are okay in the studio, but some aren’t, ‘cos obviously the booms look like dinosaurs and stuff, so if we get a chilled one we’re alright. I’ll just bring mine in, like the dog. We could dress the dog up! There you go.”
And so begins one of the funniest interviews I’ve been witness to. Simon and Kym clearly get on very well, and I’d imagine there’s seldom a dull moment on set.
Simon tells us that while Steve blunders his response when Michelle tells him she’s pregnant, resulting in her storming off, “he’s over the moon, because he’s always wanted a baby with her.”
Kym adds, “Being as fertile as he is, I’m surprised that Michelle hasn’t got pregnant before now, he only has to throw his undies on the bed and that’s it, everyone’s pregnant in Weatherfield, everyone’s having Steve’s child.”
Recalling how Michelle once wanted Steve to have a vasectomy, but he refused, Kym explains how this situation proves a real turnaround for her character. “There’s a turn of events which I can’t talk about at the moment, but that’s what starts stirring up these maternal feelings for Michelle, and given their recent troubles, she’s thinking, perhaps this is going to be the best thing for us, perhaps this will be the making of our relationship. In her head she’s thinking, this can only be a good thing, and I’m forty, it’s my last chance, so that’s why she really wants to, but of course she doesn’t know his secret.”
With regard to Leanne, Simon notes how it came out of the blue, and revealed how the writers penned scripts around the event to assist them. “They’re both in a bad place, Steve thinks Michelle is gone, it’s all over, they start chatting away and they have a drink of wine” he tells us.
Simon reckons he’ll have to go back to the gym for all the running around he’ll be doing. “Steve in trouble seems to be what we like” he observes, adding, “Even though it’s quite a dramatic thing, there’s a lot of scope for comedy, so that’s good.”
Michelle and Steve have been through a lot by now, so could this spell the end for the pair? “We’re a bit sad about it if it goes that way,” says Simon, “because we have a laugh, and that’s just the best thing at work, but I think it might be a step to far. We’re hoping not.”
Kym adds, “It’s funny because Si and I have been on-screen partners for ten years on and off, and we seem to always come back together, we always go full circle somehow, so hopefully if it does mark the end for now, we hope that at some point they will always find their way back to eachother.”
So, has Steve always had his eye on Leanne? “Answer carefully” jokes Kym as Simon tells us, “I don’t know really, she’s very attractive Leanne, so why not? But yeah, I think it was just one of those. He gave into temptation and his stupid messed up head with Michelle going on a cruise.”
I asked Simon if Steve confides in anyone. “No, there’s only Liz” he reveals. “He swore to Leanne he’s not going to tell anybody and then he tells his Mum.” Kym adds, “The worst person to tell.”
They joke about the fact that Steve put Michelle through the ringer over kissing Will, and now he gets someone pregnant. “You know what the beer’s like in the Rovers” says a hunted looking Simon, “It’s very potent.”
So, how will Steve cope with all this? “Steve is like a dog – ‘if I don’t look at them, they can’t see me’” jokes Simon to gales of laughter. “That’s how Steve thinks of the world” he continues, ending with a blasé “Everything will be fine.” Whether it will or not remains to be seen.
But will he want anything to do with Leanne’s baby? “He says he doesn’t” Simon tells us, “because his most important thing is that he has to keep Michelle. One of his big things is that he went through what he went through for a couple of years, and she stuck by him and she helped him, and it was their love that brought him out of where he was and got him better. He’s like, I just can’t do this to her, I can’t let her down. And he knows she’ll go, with Becky last time and everything. It’s like, I can’t tell her anything.”
Kym is looking forward to playing a Mum again and tells us “Whatever comes from this storyline, we’re both really excited about it. A baby is cool, and you roll with it and go with everything. I just think it’s another journey for our characters.”
Read more about our trip to the Coronation Street Press Day, including new producer Kate Oates’ plans for the show over the next few months, and our Coronation Street Blog interview with Jane Danson and Ben Price.
This interview also appears on the Coronation Street Blog.