Mary (played by Patti Claire) has been keeping herself busy looking after Tyrone Dobbs’ (Halsall) daughter alongside her duties at the florist after Dev Alahan (Jimmi Harkishin) and his teenager children left Coronation Street a couple of months ago.
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Since her son Jude Appleton (Paddy Wallace), his wife Angie Appleton (Victoria Ekanoye) and their son George left the ITV soap earlier this year, Mary has been focussed on making the Alahan home a happy one.
When Dev and his teenage daughter Asha Alahan (Tanisha Gorey) return to Weatherfield next week however, it seems the household won’t be peaceful anytime soon as the shipowner’s daughter hides a heartbreaking secret.
Self-conscious about her appearance and after spending time in India with her family, Asha will begin using skin lightening cream on herself which lets her to push those closet to her away, including Mary.
Asha’s ordeal was first reported earlier this year, with the ITV soap set to explore the impact skin bleaching products can have on its users, working with the British Skin Foundation to portray the reality of the situation for many young people.
This is one of the first big storyline’s for Asha star Tanisha Gorey, 17, who will be put in the spotlight as her character becomes fixated on altering her appearance.
Speaking about the impact of Asha’ behaviour on her nearest and dearest, Tanisha said in a statement released by ITV: “She’s very hostile with both Dev and Mary, insisting they let her do her own thing.
“Asha lost her mum a long time ago and Dev tries to take on both roles.
“Mary does her best to step in, but for Asha they’re too far removed from what she feels she’s going through and she just wants her own freedom now she’s getting a bit older.”
Of Asha beginning to reject the likes of Mary who have been a pivotal figure in her life, the soap star explained: “Asha is close to Mary but there’s too much of an age gap there.”
Tanisha continued: “She feels like more of a grandmother figure and she can’t open up to her about how she’s feeling.”
Mary would be heartbroken if she ever thought those she cared for couldn’t come to her with their problems, so will Asha’s reluctance to open up leave the florist at a loose end?
Asha’s secret is almost uncovered in upcoming episodes, as after an afternoon out with Mary in which she keeps a lid on her skin lightening regime, the contents of her bag spill out on the floor.
Dev will help Asha to recollect her belongings but the teenager manages to grasp the skin lightning cream just in time before heading upstairs to apply the contents to her body.
The coming weeks and months will see Asha turn to online outlets to source the skin bleaching products, but will anyone notice the extremes the teenager is going to in order to change her appearance?
Speaking about being given the storyline, Tanisha commented: “I knew nothing about these skin lightening creams really, I’d heard it happened but I had no idea it was as common as it actually is.
“I’ve tried to find out a lot more about the issue and now I’m really excited to try and get the message across that this is something young girls are turning to as they struggle with their self esteem.
“I want to make sure I do it justice because if you’re going to cover such a serious issue, which is not shown a lot, then you need to do it in the right way.”
Also coming up on the cobbles later in the year, the residents of Weatherfield will come together to celebrate Ken Barlow’s (William Roache) eightieth birthday.
As part of the celebrations, Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire) will be making a guest appearance three years after her exit from the show.