Coronation Street actress Samia Smith reveals Maria’s true feelings for Tony…

How does Maria end up giving birth with only Tony to help?
“Maria’s overdue and tells Tony that a long walk on the beach might help. But it works too quickly and she goes into labour there and then.”

What does Tony do?
“He carries her to a beach hut. She says he can’t be serious but the baby’s coming. The emergency services talk him through the birth over his mobile.”

Is it a complicated birth?
“Thank goodness, no. Just extremely scary – she’s got no pain relief, no medical assistance and she doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

Maria has a boy… and Tony’s as thrilled as she is, isn’t he?
“Tony immediately falls in love with him and acts like the baby’s father.”

How does Tony react when Maria announces she’s calling the baby Liam?
“He does have a moment… it’s like there’s a ghost in the room.”

How painful is it for Maria that Liam’s not around to see his child?
“She’s feeling sad. She knows how proud he’d have been. She feels stronger though knowing she’s got Tony there for her.”

Is Maria in love with Tony?
“I think both of them want the same thing from each other now. They can’t deny their feelings for much longer.”

Do you find the relationship strange?
“It’s certainly unexpected but the way Maria sees it is that they’ve both had their hearts broken, they’ve been through a lot together and it’s a natural progression.”

Obviously we know Tony killed Liam… what do you want to say to Maria?
“I want to grab her and say ‘Stop! You were right at Christmas – he killed Liam!’ It will send her over the edge when she finds out.”