Coronation Street‘s Michelle Collins talks to Soaplife about why Stella abandoned Leanne – and how Leanne learns who Stella really is!

Has Stella moved to Weatherfield specifically to make contact with Leanne?
“Yes. She has always known where Leanne is and she has decided that this is the time to finally make herself known to her daughter.”

What happened when Leanne was born to make Stella abandon her?
“Basically she was very young, only 17 when she had Leanne. At first everything with Les Battersby was great, but then he started drinking and leaving her alone with the baby and she struggled to cope. She eventually left with every intention of coming back for her baby once she was settled, but when that time came Les and his family would not let her anywhere near and she didn’t stand a chance.”
 
Does Stella regret what she did?
“Yes. For the past 29 years all she has wanted is to be a mum to her daughter.”

How did Stella feel when she first saw Leanne? Is she how she hoped her daughter would be?
“She likes Leanne immediately and she takes a great interest in everything that’s going on in her life. She even helps Peter organise Leanne’s 30th birthday party.”

Then Peter discovers Stella’s secret…
“Yes. Stella has been for dinner with Leanne and Peter and she pockets a photo of Leanne. Peter discovers this and wants to know what the hell is going on.” 
 
Does Peter pressure Stella to tell Leanne?
“No. Peter’s very understanding and certainly doesn’t force her hand, but it ends up being revealed.”

And how does Stella feel?
“A real mix of emotions. It’s a moment she has dreamt of for years. I’m sure that in her dreams Leanne breaks down in tears of joy. But Stella knows Leanne has every right to be furious with her and she’s terrified that her daughter might reject her.”