Coronation Street‘s residents can finally sleep soundly, as Pat Phelan is dead and this time he isn’t coming back.
Friday’s dramatic episode (June 1) featured Connor McIntyre’s final scenes in the role of Phelan, who was stabbed to death by his old nemesis Anna Windass in a jaw-dropping twist.
Here, Connor reflects on his departure and his five-year stint as Phelan.
Did you think it was best for Phelan to die?
“Yes. The viewers deserve that pay-off because love him or hate him, we’ve taken them on a five-year odyssey and we’ve frustrated them, entertained them and delighted them in equal measure, so it had to reach a conclusion.
“And I also feel it had to be conclusive, because it had to square the circle in terms of the Anna story. She had to be involved to put those scales in balance. The next baddie, whoever that may be or whatever form that may take, needs to get on with their business instead of it being about whether Phelan is still around.”
For you as an actor, was it nice to draw that line underneath Phelan?
“The viewers and the story deserve the pay-off. And it’s also important to remember that whilst he does have a bit of a Phelan fan club, he is a very dark piece of work so it’s been some journey, but it has to be conclusive.”
Phelan tried to keep the control until the very end. Were you pleased when you read how that final scene panned out?
“Yes I was, because that’s real spite. We see earlier that he has made his mind up that the game is up, so he gives Anna a little snigger before his eyes go and really nobody has won. The snigger is not about anything other than him winning, going out on his terms to the very end.”
So did Phelan still hold out hope that Anna would pay for killing him?
“He knows because he has done it, that you don’t kill somebody and not pay for it. In his narcissism and his love for control, he knows that he has traumatised them all.”
What was it like to film your exit?
“Great, it was filmed over two full weeks. Pat Phelan is at his most formidable when he is quiet, but the physical stuff is part of him too, that’s the explosion with him that emanates from.
“Whitehaven was interesting because I am terrified of heights, but I had worked with the crew before and had trust in them but I was hanging on the edge of the pier going: ‘I’m glad there’s a rescue boat down there!'”
How do you unwind after filming such dark moments?
“I’m just about to find out! Because it has been pretty consistent work, I haven’t been able to unplug him. You can’t go away too far, but I am a great believer that it is in the writing – you know a Pat Phelan and that’s one of the attractions to the character.”
Will you miss Pat Phelan?
“I am never going to escape him, am I? And I am very happy about all of that. But miss playing him? Sure, he is a treat, isn’t he, and he offers up so many possibilities.
“But working in my art studio, The Alamo, will help with that, I am sure. And I am signed up for the Manchester panto, so me and Les Dennis will be playing the ugly sisters in Cinderella – what a beautiful counterpoint and the perfect antidote.”
Coronation Street continues on Monday (June 4) at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.
Digital SpySoap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Coronation Street spoilers, as Alya discovers the truth about Aidan’s will, and Rosie says goodbye to the cobbles.
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