Coronation Street’s angry young man Simon Barlow turns his aggression on cousin Amy and sparks a war between Leanne and Tracy, Kate Ford explains to Soaplife…

What exactly does Simon do to Amy?

“He grabs her so hard there’s a red mark on her arm. Amy [Elle Mulvaney] is very distressed and shaken by Simon’s violent turn. The cousins have always wound each other up, but Simon’s really aggressive towards her.”

Is Simon sorry about it?

“Not at all. Everyone is really shocked by his ‘I don’t care’ attitude. His grandfather Ken [William Roache] is absolutely mortified.” 

And what does Tracy do?

“Tracy knows she can’t retaliate towards Simon [Alex Bain] so she storms into the bistro and announces in front of Robert and Eva [Catherine Tyldesley] that Simon has ‘beaten up’ Amy. Back at the Barlows’, Leanne breaks down and admits that Simon’s been hitting her. Tracy’s in shock but, while Ken and Robert are very sympathetic, Tracy’s not. Any sympathy she might have had at first evaporates when everyone else starts comforting Leanne.”

So she’s not prepared to help Leanne?

“Not at all. She just wants Simon gone and is happy when Ken reluctantly agrees Simon must go home. Robert’s concerned about Simon, though, saying he needs professional help, but Tracy doesn’t think it’s their problem.”

She’s jealous of Robert’s friendship with Leanne, isn’t she?

“Yes. Tracy is very jealous, anyway, but the last person she wants Robert [Tristan Gemmill] to be friends with is her former sister-in-law. It makes her feel insecure, plus she wants Robert all to herself.”

What does Robert think about Tracy’s behaviour towards Leanne?

“He’s disgusted. When she keeps blaming Leanne [Jane Danson] and saying stuff like it’s a good job she’s never had children of her own, he’s appalled. When he tells Tracy he’s been to see Leanne and Simon, she loses it and says she’s betrayed him. Robert refuses to back down, though.”

What happens next?

“Tracy hates it when they fall out. She gets dressed up and goes to the bistro in an attempt to get Robert to talk to her again. He’s not making it easy for her, but she decides to sit it out and wait. Then Leanne arrives, though. Robert’s concern for her sees Tracy overcome with jealousy, especially when Leanne hugs Robert and thanks him for his support. She can’t help but fire insults at Leanne – she calls Simon a thug who needs a tag around his ankle. It’s the worst thing she could have done in Robert’s eyes and, even though he does love her, she may have just gone too far this time.”

Coronation Street, ITV.