Peter’s drinking could lose him his son for ever, says Coronation Street star Chris Gascoyne…
Peter’s back on the booze again. What’s his problem?
“He’s lonely now Leanne’s gone. He’s struggling to bring up his son and the drinking’s got worse and worse.”
Does he realise he’s putting Simon in danger by getting so drunk?
“He’s in denial, but his drinking’s having a big effect on Simon. Peter’s getting so drunk he can’t even get the lad his breakfast so Simon’s fending for himself.”
But he could lose Simon if he carries on…
“He doesn’t consider that, but he should because he’s got to a stage where he gets so blind drunk he can’t even stand up.”
Deirdre catches him buying booze and susses he’s back on the bottle… “She can see the problem’s serious, but Peter won’t accept it. He’s sick of people meddling.”
But he lets her look after Simon after school, doesn’t he? “Peter’s relieved to be able to drink alone, but by the time Simon comes home he’s had too much and falls… He hits his head and cuts it. Poor Simon’s frightened.”
Next day Deirdre calls round and sees how bad things are… “He says it‘s none of her business, but she says it is if it’s Simon who gets hurt next time. Peter roars at her to get out!”
But she won’t leave without Simon… “Deirdre says she’ll call social services if he doesn’t let her take Simon. Peter explodes and she seizes the chance to grab Simon.”
But Peter gets him back later? “Yes… then disaster strikes. When Simon’s in bed, Peter drunkenly sits back on the sofa with a lit cigarette, falls asleep and drops it.”
And it starts a fire… “A big blaze. As the flames spread the smoke alarm goes off and Simon comes out of his room and finds his dad. Simon can’t rouse him so he calls the Barlows.”
Do they get rescued? “Peter wakes with a start, but he’s drunk and affected by the smoke so he just falls down, trapping Simon. It’s all very tense. Peter wakes again and sees Simon unconscious. He manages to carry him away from the flames as Tony and Luke batter down the door.”
Are Peter and Simon OK? “Peter is, but Simon’s in a bad way and ends up in intensive care. The doctors warn that he could die. Peter’s devastated.”
How would Peter cope with knowing his drinking had killed his son? “He wouldn’t. It would destroy him…”