Coronation Street stars Jennie McAlpine and Alan Halsall talk to TV Times magazine about being old friends and on-screen lovers…
Why has it taken so long for Fiz and Tyrone to realise they love each other?
Jennie: “They did have a brief relationship when Fiz first came to Weatherfield 12 years ago. She tempted Tyrone away from Maria with chips – she’d put him on a diet and when Fiz dangled a chip in front of Tyrone in Roy’s Rolls, he couldn’t resist. But it didn’t last long as he went back to Maria and since then, they have both been in bad relationships. It’s probably a good thing as Alan and I wouldn’t have been very busy if we didn’t have all these psycho spouses.”
Alan: “They both thought the grass was greener. He went back to Maria and Fiz had a relationship with Kirk. They were very young then, but those feelings have always been there between them.”
Were you pleased when you heard that Fiz and Ty were going to get together?
Jennie: “You never know what is going to happen next in this job, but I am really chuffed to be part of this storyline. I love working with Alan. It’s easy because we’ve been friends for so long. They make sense as a couple because they have so much in common. They both had mums who didn’t give two hoots about them.”
Alan: “I think it’s a really beautiful relationship because there is a lot of history between them, like there is between Jennie and I. I remember when she first joined 12 years ago. Back then I shared a flat with Andy Whyment and Steve Arnold, who played Ashley, and all of us younger members of cast had a good laugh together.”
What’s the best thing about working with each other so closely?
Jennie: “Alan is very funny. Although he takes his work very seriously, he likes to have a laugh when we’re not doing the scenes. That’s a great quality – especially when you are doing really heavy scenes all day. It’s also much easier when your love interest is somebody you already know.”
Alan: “Jennie makes me laugh. She started off in stand-up comedy, which should give you an idea of how funny she is. You have to have some light relief when you are doing the heavy stuff. I like to clown around and play practical jokes – although never on Jennie as she’s far too sweet. I play most of my jokes on Simon Gregson and Jack P. Shepherd. I leave notes on their cars, post pictures on Twitter…lots of deviant things.”
How did you feel when you realised you’d have to kiss for the cameras?
Jennie: “It is always a bit weird to go into work and kiss anyone, but I think it is easier to kiss a friend than it is a total stranger. It’s weird and daft, but it is part of the job. Alan and are both hygienic people and I always offer the mints out first.”
Alan: “We make light of it. It’s our job and we just get on with it. Honestly, kissing scenes are the most unglamorous things you can imagine. You are sitting there on some couch, having to kiss a friend with 50 people gathered round watching.”
Why have the pair of them gone on the run?
Jennie: “Fiz didn’t think it was a great idea and feels sure that they are going to be caught. Everything seems to be against them at the moment. They can’t go back because Kirsty is never going to say, ‘I am happy for you now. Why don’t you live nearby and we’ll share this baby.’”
Alan: “Tyrone is desperate. All he wants is to be with Ruby and he is not thinking of the consequences because what he is doing is the quickest way to ensure that he doesn’t see Ruby again.”
Would you like to see Fiz and Tyrone find happiness together?
Jennie: “That would be lovely, but you can never settle in this job. You’ve got to have a bit of conflict – that’s what people tune in for. I think viewers are behind Fiz and Tyrone, but I can only see a rocky outcome. It’s funny because everyone loves Tyrone and I know that if Fiz hurts him, everyone is going to kill me. He’d better not upset Fiz either or else there will be trouble!”
Alan: “It would be nice for them to have that stability. They have both got children and crave that settled, family life. There is a genuine love there, but there is a huge stumbling block in the way and they’ve got a lot of issues. At the moment, Tyrone’s priority is not Fiz, it’s Ruby. She’s his driving force.”
What is in store for Fiz and Tyrone?
Jennie: “I think there might be a lot of crying on the horizon. They have got too many obstacles to overcome. There’s not just Kirsty. What if they brought my mother back? And Chesney, he is not impressed. He is going to be an obstacle as well. And there’s Tyrone’s mother. The list is endless!”
Alan: “Well, we all know in Soapland that happiness never lasts for long.”