Alison King on her Carla Connor return: ‘She has a secret…and a fling’

Alison King is back as Carla Connor in time for Christmas

Just over eighteen months after Carla Connor flounced out of Weatherfield following her disastrous marriage to Nick Tilsley, the raven-haired businesswoman is set to return to her old stomping ground. She meets up with Aidan away from the cobbles, who begs her to save the factory, and then turns up on the street on Christmas Day, to visit the family.

Actress Alison King reveals more on her character’s much-anticipated comeback to Coronation Street as Carla Connor…

 What made you decide to come back as Carla Connor?

“Once Kate Oates had started as producer, I met up with her and said that I would be happy to come back a bit earlier – originally, I had said I would maybe have a two year break. I didn’t feel like I wanted to go anywhere else and I wasn’t keen on the idea of travelling around the country with work. I had done what I wanted to do and spent time with Daisy, but it was time for me to have the adult banter again. Kate asked if I could come back for Christmas, and I was more than happy to do that.”

Has it been easy to get back into character?

“Yes, it was like pulling on an old sock or an old pair of stiletto boots! My first two scenes were with Shayne Ward on location. I got butterflies from excitement about seeing everyone, but not from nerves. It was so lovely; like I had never been away.”

What has Carla been doing since she left Weatherfield?

“She certainly doesn’t seem to have a man on the go, but she has been keeping her hand in on the business side of things. Carla has always had business as her main focus and that hasn’t changed.”

How does she feel about Aidan getting in touch?

“She wonders what it is about, but she sees it as a chance to catch up with him as she is nearby on business. Her first reaction when he asks her to help him buy the factory is ‘absolutely not.’ But then she starts thinking about family. Seeing him makes her realise she misses everyone and would like to be with them at Christmas.”

She later turns up on Christmas Day – what happens?

“Aidan is not happy as she has turned him down when he asked for her help. But when she turns up on Christmas Day, she says she has changed her mind. She rallies round and is a nice person to be around. She is a bit like Mother Christmas and she is a bit more vulnerable than she has been in the past.”

Carla is hiding a secret. What can you say about this?

“She is at a stage where she is starting to think about life and family, and her secret is making her take stock. In the past two years, she has acquired a family that she didn’t know she had. Prior to that, she was a bit of a lone wolf – she had people like Michelle around her, but suddenly she has a family that she does really care about.”

How is Carla’s relationship with Michelle?

“She can tell that Robert and Michelle really love each other and she is really pleased for her. She’s wary of Robert, as he was one of the reasons for her marriage with Nick not working out, although she knows that she hit her own self destruct button. So she hopes his relationship with Michelle is true, but she discovers some things which make her unsure.”

Michelle Connor

And how are things between Carla and Roy?

“Roy is always there for Carla. He is the one person who knows her secret and he has always been a father figure. She has no plans to stay when she first comes back, but if she was going to stick around for anyone it would be for him. She loves everything about Roy, and she gets unconditional love from him.”

Is there is romance on the cards for her?

“She is truly happy on her own, but when she gets bored she quite likes to do things to take her mind of stuff. There is someone she has a little fling with, but she is a bit like a cat with a mouse; playing with him. It is something to do; it is not a big romance, and she also has another agenda for setting her sights on this person.”

Does she still have feelings for Peter?

“There will always be something. She knows that she lost the good egg in Nick, but she will always love Peter. She lost his baby, and he knows her inside out.”

Might this cause problems between her and Toyah?

“Toyah is a bit insecure about Carla being back, because everyone knows about Carla and Peter’s on/off relationship and how powerful it was. And Carla is talked about in a certain way as a diva, so you can understand why Toyah may feel threatened. But that perception of Carla is not really true. She is not seen as a woman’s woman but she actually is, and we have seen that over the years.”

 Finally, what is it like being reunited with all your cast mates again?

“I am sharing a dressing room with Kym Marsh (Michelle) and Faye Brookes (Kate), which is lovely – the Connor girls reunited! When I came back, I asked which dressing room I was in, and I was told that Kym had asked if I could share with them, which was so nice. So we are squeezed in together and it is great fun.”

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