As Stephen’s career hits rock bottom next week on Coronation Street, actor Todd Boyce gives an insight into what’s going on in the killer’s head…
Most people would head for the hills after committing fraud and murder, but Stephen (Todd Boyce) is still stuck in Weatherfield as his facade continues to crumble away.
Whilst giving off the impression of a wealthy businessman, stone-broke Stephen has stolen over £200,000 from his mother Audrey (Sue Nicholls) to settle debts with ex-wife Gabrielle (Helene Maksoud).
Whilst his family remains oblivious of his crimes, Leo Thompkins (Joe Frost) had uncovered his plans, but met a sticky end when Stephen pushed him off the gantry at Underworld. With Leo’s body now hidden away elsewhere, Stephen is attempting to keep calm and carry on as he continues his deception.
“I don’t think he’s really had a great deal of time to just to just process it,” Todd explains. “The death of Leo just a necessary means to keep his head above water, so I don’t think he’s really internalised it.
“He’s had to sort of just keep on going and not dwell on what he has done, but there is no way he can keep that up, the pressure is really showing.”
Stephen finally thinks his luck is changing next week, when he receives an email via a recruitment firm for some consultancy work at a trendy ad agency.
But the interview only serves as a wake-up call to Stephen, when he finds himself humilated by the employer, Drake.
“He has to do this whole online interview for this chap from an advertising agency and the guy is so switched on,” Todd reveals. “Stephen thinks he has got what it takes but he strikes out, he realises his image is too old for this company and he doesn’t have a social media presence which makes him seem out of touch.”
When the recruitment firm later ring back with another offer, it’s for a significantly different job—a delivery driver for the Six Fellas fast food joint in Bolton!
Desperate to earn any sort of cash, Stephen reluctantly accepts.
Todd admits that Stephen is crushed that he’s had to resort to this, no longer feeling relevant in the business.
“He’s embarrassed and is determined that he must never ever be found out to be doing this. He just plans to get as many shifts as possible and get some cash to get him through, as he literally has nothing right now.”
As sheer bad luck would have it, Stephen’s first delivery is to Drake at the advertising agency, who is highly amused to see that he’s stooped to such a lowly career. Further humiliated, Stephen calls Six Fellas and tells them they can stick their job!
Meanwhile, Stephen is still in a pickle as he’s somehow got to find the money for Audrey and her great-grandson Sam’s (Jude Riordan) cruise to see the northern lights.
In a panic, Stephen had offered up the money after Audrey revealed she was planning to release some equity from her house to pay for it—unaware that Stephen had already wiped it out.
As an alternative, Stephen wonders if he might be able to stop them going on the cruise altogether…
He suggests to Nick (Ben Price) that it might not be a good idea to let Sam go away with Audrey, claiming that she might be drinking again. But Nick rubbishes his theory and insists that the holiday must go ahead. Taking to desperate measures once again, Stephen then steals Audrey’s antidepressants.
“He thinks if he can make it look like she is still having a problem with drink that could solve it,” Todd explains. “He is in the pub and Nick is there, Stephen gets his mum a double gin and he plans to spike it too.
“This is the new norm for him, anything to protect himself. But has he really got what it takes to go through with it?”
Later, swallowing his pride, Stephen calls Six Fellas back and begs them to give him another chance, with the owner reluctantly agreeing.
However the shift turns into a disaster, when Stephen is faced with a gang of teens who steal his work phone and the delivery box from the scooter, before demanding money from him.
If the day couldn’t get any worse, Stephen then spots Elaine (Paula Wilcox) approaching!
In his rush to get away, Stephen loses control of the scooter and ends up sprawled across the road in front of her, but the lack of takeaway branding actually allows him to save the situation.
“Elaine comes round the corner to find him on the floor, but it just looks like a normal scooter because there is no food box, which is a blessing in disguise,” Todd says.
“He is such a good liar he just spins this tale about having had a scooter in Milan and it is more eco-friendly than having a car!“
As those around him edge closer to discovering his lies, should we be worried about the likes of Elaine and Audrey?
“I think they are probably safe,” Todd surmises. “Certainly whilst they are of use to him. The people who should worry is anyone who tries to humiliate him or starts to ask too many questions and discover the truth about him.”
As viewers have witnessed the extreme levels that Stephen will stoop to over the past couple of months, Todd admits that the public reaction to him has changed somewhat…
“It is actually really sweet and good natured,” he laughs. “I got into a big lift in IKEA, and as the lift started moving, this chap at the back just said ‘You won’t get away with it you know’. I just turned round and winked at him. I am sure the other people in the lift didn’t have a clue what was going on!”
Here are next week’s Coronation Street Spoilers:
Sunday 27th November (Episode 10805-10806)
Leanne tells Nick it’s time to admit that they can’t afford to buy the bistro. Will Harvey save the day?
Ken realises that he’s torn between two women.
Summer’s lying gets out of control.
Monday 28th November (Episode 10807-10808)
Nick lies to Leanne about the source of the bistro money.
Summer has a plan to keep her pregnancy secret, before she receives some devastating news.
Aaron and Summer return home to Eric drunk with blood trickling down his face.
Stephen’s job interview doesn’t go well, and he accepts a delivery job in desperation.
Dylan confides in Todd that since Sean and Laurence split, Shaun he won’t leave him alone.
Tuesday 29th November (Episode 10809-10810)
Stephen tells Nick that he thinks Audrey has been drinking again, before trying to spike her drink.
Todd urges Sean not to give up on Laurence.
Max warns Maria that Griff won’t be happy she’s restricting his right to free speech.
Steve returns from Spain in a wheelchair, but wants to keep the truth of his accident a secret.
Wednesday 30th November (10811-10812)
Stephen and Elaine circle each other.
Sean accuses Laurence of copping off with Todd.
Griff protests the refugee support centre.
Will Summer come clean about her pregnancy?
Steve finds a scratchcard in Tim’s old jacket and discovers he’s won £250.