Phoenix Nights star Ted Robbins explains to Soaplife how he turns up in Coronation Street as Brendan Finch, who takes a fancy to Mary – even though he’s married…

So, tell us more about Brendan…

“Well, he certainly doesn’t wear a wedding ring! He’s a blue-suede-brogues-and-snazzy-jackets type and he probably wears a fake version of an expensive aftershave.”

Why does he come to Weatherfield?

“Norris [Malcolm Hebden] was very officious with a staff member of the magazine Brendan edits, The Inexplicable, so Brendan arrives to put him in his place.”

And Brendan and Mary click straight away?

“Yes. Mary [Patti Clare] is fanatical about the magazine, which is about all things spooky. She’s missing an issue and Brendan wants to go out of his way to make sure she gets it. It’s a very rare issue she’s after and he’s quite taken with the fact that she’s as interested as he is in UFOs, ghosts, spiritual entities and the rest of it. As for Mary, well, she develops feelings for Brendan very quickly.”

And she has no idea that he’s married?

“Absolutely none. But Norris smells a rat and he’s very wary of Brendan – as are Rita [Barbara Knox] and Dev [Jimmi Harkishin]. They want to look out for Mary as she’s been hurt before. They’re really not sure about Brendan.”

And it sounds like they’re right to be suspicious!

“The thing is, I think Brendan will start developing genuine feelings for Mary. He’ll begin to question whether this will just be a little fling and whether he’ll be able to go back to his wife at the end of it.”

What about his marriage?

“The way I see it, he doesn’t mind marriage, it’s just the hours are so long! Perhaps his wife’s become a bit of a security blanket and he’s looking for excitement. His wife is quite a redoubtable figure. I imagine he’s a little bit scared of her.”

Coronation Street, ITV