Coronation Street star Ian Bartholomew, who plays twisted Geoff Metcalfe, has spoken about his character’s downfall, and says he doesn’t want the emotive Yasmeen and Geoff domestic abuse plot to be tied up “too neatly.”
Geoff had been controlling and manipulating Yasmeen for months when, in a special episode that aired at the beginning of May, Yasmeen feared for her life and stabbed her partner with a wine bottle in self-defence.
Geoff survived the attack, and Yasmeen was subsequently arrested and charged with his attempted murder. She is currently on remand in prison.
Asked if he believes Coronation Street has a moral obligation to give Geoff his commupance, 65 year old Bartholomew says: “No I don’t, actually. It would be very satisfying for Geoff to get his commupance, and in a way this is a morality tale, and when things like that happen on TV, we want good outcomes. But life isn’t always like that.
“So when I say ‘No, I don’t want him to get his commupance,’ well yes of course I do and, in one way or another, he will – although I’m not going to say how or when. But if you tie things up too neatly, you let an audience off the hook. And if you let an audience off the hook, the story then becomes ‘Oh good, he got what he deserves and we don’t have to worry it about any more.’
“If you leave it ambiguous, to a degree where people say ‘Why didn’t that happen? He should’ve had this, that and the other’, it keeps it in people’s minds. With the story that we’re trying to tell, it’s very important that we keep it [domestic abuse] in the front of people’s minds, because it has to stop.”
In scenes to air next week, Geoff will return to the cobbles after being discharged from hospital, only to discover that he can’t get into number six as Yasmeen’s granddaughter Alya has changed the locks.
The pensioner is panic-stricken, as he is desperate to retrieve the hidden CCTV camera that he set up to spy on his wife, along with his laptop, which contains footage of his final, ugly onslaught.
Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod has revealed that Geoff’s control of Yasmeen will continue to run deep for some time. However, he has promised fans that Geoff’s evil actions won’t go unpunished.
“The timelines have obviously been shunted around slightly due to the lockdown, but I think it’s fair to imagine that it will certainly be this year,” says MacLeod.
“What form that comeuppance takes is still in discussion. We wanted a redemptive ending ultimately for Yasmeen. She’s in the thick of it at the moment, and the toughest it’s going to get for her is around now.
“The ending is towards the end of the year, but the key thing is to impart the right message at the end of this story. There has been some very sobering correspondence [from real-life survivors] to me, Ian Bartholomew and Shelley King (Yasmeen).
“For the sake of all those people, we have to tell the right ending with some positivity and optimism. That’s our thinking at the moment, but it’s a little way off yet.”