We’re told that brighter days are beckoning – but it doesn’t look that way for some of our favourite Coronation Street residents. Secrets, lies, and the demise of big, bad Pat Phelan are all on the agenda for the season ahead…

Here’s our Coronation Street Spring Preview! We reveal six sensational plots that’ll have you glued to the box…

1. Carla gets a new lover…but who is he?

Coronation Street Spring Storylines revealed! Carla gets a new lover and the end for Phelan plus more spoilers!

Talk about not letting the grass grow under her feet. Just a few weeks after receiving a new kidney, courtesy of half brother Aidan, Carla will be putting her new, improved body to the test by embarking on a steamy relationship. Who is her mystery man? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see, but we can confirm that, just like Carla’s recent conquest, Daniel Osbourne, her new lover will have considerably less miles on the clock than she has.

“They have great chemistry,” reveals Kate Oates, “but like most Weatherfield relationships, this one won’t be straightforward. Carla’s very keen to keep it under wraps. She knows that tongues will be wagging if word gets out, and one person in particular will not be pleased at all.”

Who’s the lucky man?

2. Evil Pat Phelan gets his commupance

With three murders under his belt – Vinny Ashford, Andy Carver and most recently Luke Britton – along with the rape of Street favourite Anna Windass, Pat Phelan has earned himself the title of Weatherfield’s number one villain. But the law of soap dictates that all baddies must get their commupance, and as we head into Spring, Phelan’s reign of terror will finally draw to a close.

Corrie bosses don’t want to give too much away about how the dastardly builder will depart the cobbles, but there are a few tantalising teasers that we can reveal. Firstly, the gripping denouement will take place away from Weatherfield in an isolated location. Secondly, Phelan’s wife Eileen will have a hand in his demise – quite literally. And thirdly, the action will involve a stunt of some kind.

“A character like Pat Phelan was always going to go out with a bang rather than a whimper, and the exit we have in store for him will definitely pack a punch,” promises Corrie producer Kate Oates. “Between now and then, there’ll be plenty of twists and turns, as the pressure mounts and Phelan fears his dark secrets will be uncovered.”

3. David is assaulted by newcomer Josh

David Josh Coronation Street

It looks like David Platt has found a firm friend in mechanic Josh Tucker. If he hasn’t been sparring with him, he’s been sinking pints with him – much to girlfriend Shona’s frustration, who’s barely had a look in. But there’s a sinister side to the cobbles newcomer, as David is about to discover. A night out in town will take a disturbing turn when Josh spikes the hairdresser’s drink, and then rapes him.

It’s the first time that Corrie has tackled the issue of male rape, and writers have been working closely with Survivors Manchester – a charity that supports male survivors of sexual abuse and rape – to ensure that the storyline is told truthfully and sensitively.

“Coronation Street has always tackled difficult subjects,” says Kate Oates. “This is a story about a rape, but it is also a way in which we can shine a light on male mental health.”

The story will also see the brief return of David’s dad, Martin Platt (actor Sean Wilson), thirteen years after the character left the cobbles for a new life in Liverpool.

4. Eva’s under pressure as she tries to hide her pregnancy

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Pregnant Eva thought she’d come up with the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone when she agreed to secretly hand her unwanted baby to Toyah. But it’s only going to work if she can keep her pregnancy a secret, and that’s no easy feat for a woman well into her second trimester. As we head into Spring, the pressure mounts. Not only does Eva have her burgeoning bump to worry about, but Leanne’s on a mission to get fit, and asks her sister to go to exercise classes with her.

With Eva in no fit state to be bouncing around, she and Toyah throw her off the scent by making out that they’re starting a language course. That works…until Leanne insists on coming along too. Talk about a piggin’ mess! Is Eva about to come unstuck?

5. Tyrone cheats!

Fiz will be back on the cobbles after caring for poorly mum, Cilla, in Wolverhampton, but her and Tyrone’s happy reunion won’t last long. The couple will soon be at loggerheads over Tyrone’s young daughter, Ruby, whose bad behaviour shows no signs of improving. Worried for the safety of her own daughter, Hope, Fiz packs her bags and decides to live with Chesney for a while. But while Fiz is away, Ty will stray, finding comfort in the arms of another…

Which Weatherfield woman will he turn to? And how will Fiz react if she finds out about his fling?

6. Actors Sophie Thompson and Louis Emerick join the cast

Spring is the time for new arrivals, and here are two set to ruffle a few feathers. And if they look familiar, it’s because they’re no strangers to the world of soap.

Acclaimed actress Sophie Thompson (pictured above), who played Phil Mitchell’s disturbed fiancé Stella Crawford in EastEnders, will guest star as Rosemary, a customer of Audrey who claims that she’s not only communicating with the hairdresser’s late husband, Alf, but she has a message for Gail from her dead husbands. That’s going to be some lengthy repartee, given how many Gail’s accumulated over the years.

Meanwhile, there’s a new love interest for Liz McDonald in the shape of handsome Mike Thornbury. He’s played by Louis Emerick, who’s best known as Brookside’s Mick Johnson, but had a brief stint in Corrie in the 80s. “I appeared in the show in 1986 as a delivery man,” recalls Louis. “It’s only taken 32 years to be invited back!”

Mike is Steve’s former teacher, and when he asks his ex pupil for a job at Streetcars, Steve takes him on, believing there’s some fun to be had in being his teacher’s boss. But will he still be smiling if his mum and Mike get it on?

Sophie Thompson pic: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment