Lucy Fallon opens up on some shocking developments for Bethany
For while Coronation Street viewers are about to discover that Bethany Platt is secretly working as a private dancer, Tom has had plenty of time to get used to his girlfriend’s hard-hitting stories.
Last year Bethany was groomed and then abused by her older boyfriend and his friends.
And previously she’s been bullied at school, collapsed after taking diet pills and developed an obsession with her mum’s boyfriend.
“When I told Tom about my latest storyline he was a bit like: ‘Oh, really?’
“But I think he was more concerned about the outfits, which are actually fine, so I was able to reassure him,” Lucy explains, before adding: “I think he might be more surprised if I was doing something normal, like just working as a waitress in the Bistro!”
Bethany Platt’s storyline is set to take another shocking twist
When I told Tom about my latest storyline he was a bit like: ‘Oh, really?’
Lucy’s feet have barely touched the ground since she arrived on the cobbles in 2015.
She was 19 and had just finished college when she auditioned to play teenager Bethany, four years her junior.
Not only was it her first time on television, it was also her first acting role; prior to that she’d had a variety of jobs in her hometown of Blackpool, including working in a sandwich shop and as a cleaner in a local bar.
Fast forward three years and she’s picked up a prestigious Best Soap Actress award, met boyfriend Tom Leech and just signed a new contract keeping her at Coronation Street until 2019.
“It is weird how things have changed and I think last year was the favourite year yet of my life,” Lucy reflects.
“Obviously there were the big storylines and then I got my award, which was overwhelming. I also got a house with my boyfriend, and a dog – a cavapoo called Milo – and we had a nice holiday in St Lucia!”
But while Lucy is clearly on cloud nine, the same sadly can’t be said of Bethany, who, unbeknown to her family and boyfriend Craig Tinker (Colson Smith), is now working evenings at a lap-dancing club.
“It’s a control thing and a repercussion of everything that’s happened to her,” Lucy explains.
“It’s her taking control of what men can and can’t do to her and also taking back control of her body and the way she feels about herself and the way she feels about men.
“When she’s dancing she feels she’s taking money off men and laughing at them, because they can’t do anything to her.” While Lucy realises viewers might be shocked by her character’s behaviour, she hopes they will also understand.
Lucy won a coveted InsideSoap award last year
“Obviously everybody will think: ‘Well, why would she want to do that when all that awful stuff has happened to her?’
But when the idea of her taking back control was explained to me, I understood it more,” she reasons.
“It’s a journey for her. It’s the way she’s dealing with it. It’s not about whether it’s right or wrong, it’s how she feels she can cope with everything that’s happened.”
Bethany’s secret is uncovered this week when her policeman boyfriend Craig is called to a disturbance at a lap-dancing club.
The manager suggests he should talk to their new dancer Maddison, as she was closest to the incident and Craig is stunned to discover that Maddison is none other than Bethany.
“Bethany is mortified and embarrassed that Craig knows. She’s shocked that he’s there and just wants him to leave,” Lucy says.
“She makes him promise not to tell anyone. She tells him that if he can’t accept her job, then they can’t be together.”
It has been a busy few months for Lucy. As well as learning lines for her latest storyline, she also appeared on ITV’s All Star Musicals over Christmas, singing Don’t Cry For Me Argentina at the London Palladium.
Her performance wowed the 2,000-strong audience and saw her beat the other celebrity contestants to be crowned winner.
Colson Smith’s Craig Tinker is urged by Bethany to not tell a soul about her job
“It was petrifying!” she recalls with a giggle.
“Musicals are what I always said I wanted to do and I’d love to do one eventually – maybe I could have a gap year from Coronation Street!” Although, she’s certainly not ready to leave the soap.
“No, definitely not,” she says firmly.
“I’m not ready to leave at all – there’s more of me yet!” Sue Crawford