Carla returns, Phelan and Anna's final battle, Robert's cancer shock... it's all happening in Weatherfield this winter

CARLA RETURNS!

Carla Connor is coming home for Christmas, with Alison King returning to the role after an 18-month break. And the former factory queen is hiding something. “Carla returns to the street carrying a secret, but viewers will have to wait and see how long she can keep it quiet,” says our Corrie source. “There will be a divide among the Connor clan that will see Carla clash with some members of her family.”

PHELAN & ANNA’S FINAL BATTLE

Phelan murder viewer compaints Coronation Street

Now that evil Pat Phelan has crossed the line and become a cold-blooded killer, it’s clear he’ll stop at nothing to cover his killer tracks and will eliminate anyone who poses a threat. Next on his hit list is old enemy, Anna Windass.

Gary Windass, Nicola Rubinstein, David Platt, Gemma Winter

Persecuted: Anna was arrested after Phelan’s meddling

Having framed her for teen tearaway Seb Franklin’s accident, Pat plans to get Anna out of the way. “There’s bad blood between Phelan and Anna,” says our Weatherfield mole. “Fans might be hoping she’s the only one who can bring him down, but Pat is always one step ahead. Over the coming weeks he’ll make sure Anna is dealt with once and for all, with huge consequences for her family.”

With Debbie Rush set to leave the show this winter after almost a decade on the cobbles, will Anna be the brutish builder’s next victim?

MICHELLE & ROBERT’S CANCER SHOCK

coronation street, robert preston

Hopes of a happy ending for Michelle Connor and Robert Preston are jeopardised when the bistro owner discovers he has testicular cancer.

With Robert released from prison and their nightmare with stalker Will Chatterton behind them, the couple are devastated by the health blow. And the news brings up tragic memories from Mr Preston’s past. “Tracy tells Michelle that Robert’s dad had cancer,” reveals our Corrie insider. “It then emerges Robert found a lump weeks ago but was too scared to do anything about it. In denial about his diagnosis, Robert spirals into self-destruction and makes some risky decisions…”

BILLY’S DEADLY SECRET

Billy Mayhew, Summer Spellman, Simon Barlow, Peter Barlow

It turns out Billy Mayhew indulged in some rather unholy behaviour before he donned the dog collar, as his dodgy past comes back to haunt him this winter.

The vicar is arrested for an armed robbery dating back to 2001, and that sparks off a huge new storyline.

“Billy hasn’t told anyone about his life of crime before he became a man of the cloth, but he’s forced to face up to something he did that could have a massive impact on his future,” says our mole. “His and Todd’s adoption of Summer, and Billy’s place in the community will all be at risk – viewers are about to learn some surprising things about a character they thought they knew…”

GARY’S DEAD!

Gary Windass, Nicola Rubinstein, Sarah Platt

Sarah Platt has warned boyfriend Gary Windass about the dangers of his security work in the Ukraine, but in the coming weeks he’ll be forced to return for one last job – quite literally…

“Sarah gets a call from the Ukraine with the devastating news there has been an explosion and that Gary has been killed.”

Sarah is left reeling but she’s not the only one – so, too, is Nicola Rubinstein who is secretly carrying Gary’s baby. As Sarah mourns her boyfriend, will she discover that he cheated on her? Or will Nicola keep quiet about the indiscretion to protect Gary’s memory?”

ALSO ON THE COBBLES THIS WINTER

Daniel threatens Sinead and Chesney’s future

Mary is accused of hurting her grandson

Secret lovers Kate and Rana are caught in the act

There’s romance for Gemma – but is she out of her depth?

Check back soon for our Emmerdale winter preview!