It’s Corrie’s Billy the Vicar who comes to the rescue when Sarah has a meltdown at her baby’s Christening, Dan Brocklebank tells Soaplife.
Billy’s noticed something’s not right with Sarah, hasn’t he?
“Yes, since everything that happened with Callum [Sean Ward] she’s been behaving erratically and, because his job puts him within the community, Billy notices people’s behaviour.”
What does he think is wrong?
“Billy thinks she was raped by Callum and that baby Harry is the product of that. He puts two and two together and comes up with five. Sarah [Tina O’Brien] had told him previously that she’d been in an abusive relationship, but she didn’t tell him it was with Callum, although Billy guessed that’s who it was.”
Then Sarah runs out of the Christening…
“Yes. Harry’s crying and Sarah’s convinced it’s because he’s possessed by Callum’s evil spirit. Billy goes after her, essentially calms her down and repeatedly reassures her that the sins of the father are not passed on to the child. He tells Sarah that Harry is an innocent little baby, an innocent soul.”
Did you enjoy leading an on-screen Christening?
“It was interesting… I did a lot of research, as I would for a funeral or a wedding. It’s nice to see Billy doing his job rather than drinking a pint in the Rovers!”
How do you find playing a vicar?
“Again, I did a lot of research for this job. I spoke to a lot of clergy, especially gay vicars, about the Church of England’s stance on LGBT clergy. I’m contacted quite a bit by gay vicars and it’s good to know that we’re doing something relevant. I’ve been playing Billy for 18 months and I’m only now beginning to understand where he’s coming from and what his past is.”
Which character would you like Billy to have a storyline with?
“Norris Cole [Malcolm Hebden]. I would love Billy to have a really in-depth storyline with him!”
Coronation Street, ITV