A fraught personal journey begins when Steve crashes a minibus with the Underworld staff on board, says Coronation Street star Simon Gregson…

It’s not Steve’s depression that causes him to crash the minibus after the girls’ night out, but it’s certainly why he flees the scene. “He has a massive panic attack and, because of his depression, he just needs to get away. He simply can’t deal with the enormity of it. It’s fight or flight and he flies,” Simon tells Soaplife.

OK… But why does the mini bus crash?

“A couple of idiots cut Steve up, forcing him to brake quite sharply. They drive off, only to reappear a while later in this ridiculous boy-racer car. They cut him up again, but this time they brake right in front of him. Steve’s forced to swerve and the minibus crashes. It has nothing to do with his illness.”

What’s happens next?

“Steve’s momentarily unconscious. But when he comes round, he thinks everyone else is dead because they look like they are. He manages to scramble out and he realises they’re at the edge of a cliff. It’s then he has a panic attack and simply walks away.”

Doesn’t he feel guilty?

“He feels very guilty. Michelle [Kym Marsh] is in the minibus and she also manages to get out. She approaches him and he bursts into tears. He’s distraught that he hasn’t helped. It’s like he can’t control his thoughts.”

How does he feel when the girls blame him for the crash?

“Terrible. But he hasn’t got it in him to fight back. He thinks everything is his fault, anyway, and now he has something major to blame himself for.”

But he tells Michelle there’s something wrong with him…

“He blurts out he’s been diagnosed with depression and that he’s been feeling bad for ages. She’s very upset, but she realises he hasn’t gone off her and she ends her fledgling relationship with Hamish. It’s a turning point for them to start rebuilding their relationship.”

Is it the crash that makes Steve get help?

“Yes. He had to hit rock bottom before he could start dragging himself back up. He starts taking anti-depressants. It will take time, but at least he’s on the way up again now.”

Coronation Street, ITV. Click here for dates and times.