Michelle Collins reveals to Soaplife that Stella is a broken woman and may never recover from Karl’s devastating betrayal in Coronation Street

So Stella never suspected that Karl started the Rovers’ fire?

“It never crossed her mind. Karl covered his tracks well. Stella put his strange behaviour down to him treading carefully around her after the affair with Sunita. He was desperate to marry her but Stella thought he just wanted to make everything right.”

He was desperate all right… desperate enough to kill! Stella was in love with a murderer!

“And she’s completely knocked for six. Stella may act the feisty landlady, but inside she’s delicate and vulnerable… It’s not just that Karl was behind the fire that shakes her, but the extent to which he deceived her. He was so calculated and Stella failed to detect his lies.”

Does Stella blame herself?

“She’s full of guilt, regret and shame. She feels so much to blame for what’s happened and knows she should have listened to Dev when he told her not to forgive Karl the first time around.”

Does she wish she’d stayed with Jason?

“Jason doesn’t enter her head for a second. Thoughts of Karl and the damage he’s done make it impossible for Stella to focus on anything else.”

She’s not coping well, is she?

“No. She hits the bottle to help her face people in the pub. It doesn’t help and she ends up turning on her mum and breaking down on Dev. She tells him she wants to go to sleep and never wake up. Dev’s so sympathetic considering what’s happened which makes her feel even worse.”

Sounds like she’s heading for a breakdown…

“She certainly feels like there’s no escaping what Karl’s done. She’s at her lowest ebb and can’t see a way out…”