Adam will swap Billy’s painkillers for paracetemol as part of a revenge plan for the Vicar’s involvement in Susan’s death.
Billy Mayhew may have survived that horror cliff plunge on Christmas Day, but his injuries have left him in a wheelchair and, what’s more, Adam Barlow is gunning for him. He wants revenge on the Vicar for his involvement in Susan’s death, and secretly swaps Billy’s tablets for regular paracetamol, a move that will ultimately result in Billy being hooked on the pills.
Actor Daniel Brocklebank, who plays Billy in Coronation Street, reveals more about the painkiller addiction plotline…
How is Billy adapting to being in a wheelchair?
Daniel Brocklebank: “He’s obviously not keen on the prospect of spending the rest of his life in wheelchair, but at the moment, he has so much going on, in addition to his recovery. Todd and Summer are missing and he’s still reeling from what happened with Peter, and he hasn’t had time to digest everything. He was bleeding out of his femoral artery just three days before falling off a bloody cliff! The poor guy has been through the mill!”
Billy is reunited with Summer this week, but there’s no return for Todd. Does Billy feel he’s been abandoned?
DB: “He’s baffled as to how someone who loved him so much could just walk away, but he also knows Todd, and accepts that he has flaws. And Todd doesn’t know what Billy’s been through – he’s not aware of the physical state Billy is in, and what’s actually happened to him. Billy is grieving a relationship, but he’s trying to be strong for Summer, because she’s the priority.”
How does Billy feel when Adam offers to get him “stronger” painkillers?
DB: “It’s all about protecting Summer; that is his main driving force. When he’s in this much pain, the reason he agrees to taking stronger painkillers from Adam – not knowing Adam is swapping the prescribed ones for placebos – its so he’s able to look after Summer properly. It’s not necessarily just about the pain itself, it’s about reducing it enough so he can undertake his responsibilities and look after his daughter.”
Does Billy have any idea what Adam is up to?
DB: “He has no idea that Adam is pulling the strings. Billy doesn’t know that Adam knows he was involved in Susan’s death, and he’s totally unaware that Adam is trying to act out some sort of revenge.”
What can we expect as this story plays out?
DB: “It’s been interesting to research and play. I spoke to several people who have been or are addicted to painkillers. Its terrifying the percentage of people who end up this way after an operation or an accident. Billy’s driving factor is being able to take care of Summer, and ultimately the addiction disables him from being able to take care of her in the end because of how it escalates. It’s all driven by Adam, and Billy’s not aware that it’s even happening. And by the time he does realise, it could be too late.
Could Billy end up losing Summer?
DB: “He stands to lose Summer, of course. He hasn’t adopted her yet, and is still just her legal guardian. There are formalities and legalities around that. If he shows himself to be an unfit parent, he could lose everything, so the stakes are high.”
Can he keep hold of his faith as things get worse?
DB: “I think someone with a faith as strong as Billy’s he’ll look from ways to learn and grow from this, further down the line. Don’t think he’d turn his back on religion, no. It has got him out of trouble when he was younger, and brought his life around.”
Do you think Adam is right to want revenge on Billy, or has Billy already paid the price for what he did?
DB: “I think he’s paid his price. For a person inherently good, he’s looked back on those things and is not proud of them – but what adult doesn’t have things in their past that they’re not proud of and grown from, or become better people because of? That’s how I see Billy. I mean he got thrown off a cliff, how much payback do you want?!”
Written by Jonathan Hughes.
Pic credit: Joseph Scanlon and Mark Bruce