Leanne will be plunged into danger as she tries to protect her son...
A dramatic storyline is on the way for Coronation Street favourite Leanne Battersby, just a few months after she bid a tragic farewell to young son Oliver.
The plot will see the grieving mum spring into action to save elder son Simon, who gets involved in a dark and dangerous situation.
It’s being billed by Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod as a grief story with a difference, but one which will still be respectful of Leanne’s experience.
Explains MacLeod: “What we were trying to do with Simon and Leanne was find a way of playing their grief that didn’t feel like the grief stories we’d done before and that other shows might have done.
“So we’ve come up with something that starts small, but ends up turning into this kind of colossal, almost thriller-ish, high octane piece that will play out over the first six months of 2021.
“It ends up with Simon, driven by grief, getting himself into an inescapable situation, and that forces Leanne to put her war paint on and go out in defence of her one remaining son and take on an incredibly dangerous situation to try and protect him.
“It is a grief story, but it’s about as far removed from one woman in a room, not doing very much and feeling really sad, as is possible to get.”
He adds: “We were quite keen to use Leanne’s grief as a launch pad for something really exciting, and I think we’ve achieved that, without it feeling like we’re doing a disservice to the Oliver story.
“That’s always the danger with this story, that it’s an incredibly tragic event for somebody that it can imbue everything they do for years afterwards with a dark and brooding tone.
“We were keen to avoid that, and I think we have done.”
Leanne’s three year old son Oliver passed away in November, six months after being diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, when she and ex partner Steve – Oliver’s father – agreed with hospital staff to turn off his life support machine.
She has been wracked with grief, and spent Christmas home alone, after lying to her loved ones that she was visiting mum Stella and sister Eva in France.
Teenager Simon is her stepson from her relationship with Peter Barlow, and she has raised the lad as her own since he was a small child.
Coronation Street continues on ITV.