Newcomer Elaine has been revealed as Geoff’s first wife and Tim’s mother
Coronation Street actress Paula Wilcox has shed light on her character Elaine Jones’ history with Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholomew), and revealed that Elaine felt “in mortal danger” when she was married to the twisted magician-come-DJ.
As Elaine became visibly upset, she dropped the bombshell that she was Geoff’s first wife, and had changed her name from Philippa to Elaine after running away from her violent partner. She went on to reveal that she had abandoned her baby son in the process… cobbles cabbie Tim.
Reveals Wilcox: “Elaine was married to Geoff and was Tim’s mother, and has been shut out of their lives for nearly 50 years, so she hasn’t seen Tim since he was a baby.
“She was absolutely devoted to Tim, but Geoff became so scary. For Elaine, it was absolutely terrifying to have a baby in danger as well as yourself. What happened in the end was that you save yourself.
“Geoff seemed very fond of the son, and she felt the best way was to leave the baby in comparative safety and at least save herself, because I think she did feel she was in mortal danger.
“She got out, and I suspect that for about 10, 20 years, she buried it and tried to make a new life. Then, gradually, these things have to be dealt with and she got some help, either from a doctor or psychotherapist or group therapy.
“She’s quite savvy now about the effect that these people have on those they’re bullying and abusing. To all intents and purposes, she has made a very good recovery. Nonetheless, those scars are still there.
“She knew that every day, there was a little boy somewhere, and she didn’t know whether he was safe or in danger because Geoff made sure she couldn’t find them. It’s coming up to 50 years now, and the trauma of all that is starting to resonate.”
Fifty years ago, nobody would’ve talked about this…
The 70 year old star adds that attitudes to domestic violence and coercive control would’ve been very different back in the 70s, when Elaine was a victim. And, with the benefit of time, Elaine now feels that she is in a position to speak up.
In Wednesday’s episode, she will leave Alya overwhelmed by announcing that she is prepared to give evidence against Geoff in a bid to help Yasmeen win her freedom.
“Fifty years ago, nobody would’ve talked about this,” says Wilcox. “You would have run away and you’d have been lucky to start a new life. You wouldn’t have felt comfortable about talking about it, because it would’ve been seen as something quite shameful. If Elaine wanted to get a job and hold it down, I don’t think she could afford to be emotional at work or indeed emotional anywhere.
“Over the years, it has become more and more possible to discuss it. Seeing the story about Yasmeen in the paper and knowing that Geoff is doing to somebody else what he did to her, I think now it feels like the time when it would be possible to, if not quite face Geoff, at least stand up and say something. Because so many women now do stand up and put their heads above the parapet.
“When she sees that Yasmeen is in prison for attacking Geoff, that’s just the wrong way round. So I think there’s that, coupled with this now building sense of injustice and a longing to see her son. It’s a mixture of all sorts of emotions. She’s having to force herself to do something about it, and say something about it.”