Coronation Street has confirmed that next Friday’s (November 13) double-bill will focus solely on the Oliver Battersby storyline, as the judge reaches a decision.
A tough week lies ahead for Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) and Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson), as the court hearing arrives.
Monday’s double-bill (November 9) will see the parents listen closely as Dr Howarth (Caroline Harding) reveals to the court why she believes it would be an act of kindness to switch off Oliver’s life support.
Leanne and Steve are determined to fight for Oliver, but with Nick (Ben Price) and Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) having voiced their concerns about whether this hearing is really what’s best for Oliver, there is tension aplenty.
Speaking about this, actor Simon Gregson — who portrays Steve — said: ‘Tracy and Nick have accepted what the doctors are saying, they’re being resolute in telling Leanne and Steve you have to accept what the doctors are saying and what you need to do now is spend time with Oliver, loving him, holding him, being there for him and preparing for that awful day rather than wasting your time going through all this.
‘All the time, money, hurt, upset isn’t going to benefit anyone. Well Leanne won’t take this at all and ostracises them, keeping them away from the whole thing and Steve feels he has to support her.’
The court hearing continues throughout the week, and on one occasion, a particularly bad day ensues. With emotions running high, Leanne makes a pass at Steve!
‘Leanne’s exhausted,’ Simon continued, ‘Maybe she’s starting to resign herself to the fact the doctors are right but she won’t admit it. Toyah tells Steve to get a glass of wine down her neck but she downs it then she downs a few more.
‘I think to her it feels like Steve is being really kind and being there for her in the way that Nick hasn’t been and she makes a pass at him. In that moment she feels he’s the only one who understands her, she’s just reaching out for that short term emotional fix.’
Friday’s episode — which will focus solely on the Oliver narrative — will see the judge reach a decision regarding the young boy.
In spite of Steve and Leanne’s pleas, the judge ultimately rules that it would be in Oliver’s best interests for the life support to be withdrawn.
‘It’s a terrible blow but I don’t necessarily think it’s a full 100% shock,’ said Simon, ‘I think they had to go through the process so they could be sure they’d gone down every single avenue so when he does pass away they know there’s nothing more they could have done.
While Steve attempts to come to terms with the ruling, Leanne decides that she’s going to appeal. However, in a rather shocking turn of events, Steve ultimately reject Leanne’s idea.
Speaking about Steve’s motivations in doing so, Simon said: ‘He has a change of heart and he says no I’m not doing this anymore and he tells Leanne she shouldn’t either.
‘He tells her they need to spend what little time they have left with Oliver because if they keep on chasing this false hope he could die while they’re in court. Steve just feels they need to be there with him now.’
One to watch: Friday November 13 at 7:30pm on ITV.
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