More than nine million viewers tuned into Coronation Street to see Marc Baylis’s character Rob Donovan revealed as Tina McIntyre’s killer.
The long-running ITV soap attracted a peak audience of 9.1 million with an average of 8.7 million – one million more than its highest rating episode last week.
Marc said he was relieved when his character was finally identified as the killer after viewers saw the barmaid fall from the balcony of the builder’s yard flat during last night’s episode which ended with her lying motionless on the street’s famous cobbles.
Although the character has not yet been certified dead, her imminent demise was prompted by actress Michelle Keegan’s decision to quit the show. Viewers have known for some time that scriptwriters planned to kill her off and were lining up possible suspects.
The wait was finally over when Tina was given a fatal shove by Rob after she threatened to report his dodgy dealings to police and reveal to his sister, Carla Barlow, that she had been having an affair with Carla’s husband, Peter.
Marc said: “It’s been this massive secret so it’s nice to be able to talk about it for once.”
He said the dramatic storyline was ‘an amazing experience’, adding: “It’s a huge challenge and one I’m really enjoying so long may it continue as long as I don’t burn myself out.
“It’s a long storyline.”
ITV has promised a ‘shocking twist’, just as the police begin their efforts to track down who is responsible for Tina’s death.
In the coming months, the audience will see Rob desperately trying to cover his tracks and evade justice.
Marc told reporters that Michelle – who won the Sexiest Female title for the sixth year running at the British Soap Awards – was “a fantastic actress” and he wished her “all the luck in the world”.