Coming up next week on Coronation Street, Roy’s refusal to use his new phone ends in disaster when Nina knocks herself unconscious and falls into a river!
Roy (David Neilson) wasn’t too enthused by his Christmas gift from niece Nina (Mollie Gallagher) last weekend—having received one of those newfangled “mobile smart telephones”—but a near-tragedy next week soon makes him rethink his stance on technology.
Roy’s continued refusal to use his gift and join the digital age frustrated Molly all the more this week, when she had to cancel her cinema plans with girlfriend Asha (Tanisha Gorey) as Roy found himself running late.
“The only phone box that I could find was unusable,” Roy explained as he apologised. “Someone had stolen the handset. Now what anyone would want with a disconnected telephone receiver is beyond me, but that is the world we live in!”
“No Roy, this is the world YOU live in,” Nina retorted. “If you would’ve brought your phone with you, this could have been sorted out in seconds…”
But as Roy launched into a speech about seeing his customers constantly glued to their screens like zombies, rather than engaging in conversation with each other, Nina could see she was fighting a losing battle. She was forced to admit defeat when she later found Roy passing the phone on to Nick (Ben Price), to gift to Sam (Jude Riordan) on his return.
“They are very close and they both are constantly looking out for each other and just want the best for each other,” Mollie Gallagher explains as she talks about Nina and Roy’s relationship. “They are very similar in many ways, they are quite quirky and they find it hard to show their feelings and tend to hide things from each other, often to try and protect the other person. That then comes across as a lack of understanding and can cause problems as we see this week with the mobile phone.”
As New Year’s Eve falls on Coronation Street, Roy reveals to Evelyn (Maureen Lipman) and Brian (Peter Gunn) that he’s been hiding a secret for the past two years… he’s been studying for his VBRV (Volunteer Bat Roost Visitor) qualification.
When Roy later arranges to meet Brian, Nina and Asha in the woods at one of the bat group meetings in the woods, they are unable to get the message to him that the meet has been cancelled. Roy has gone to drop Evelyn off at a friend’s house, and so is making his own way to the woods. When he does arrive, Roy’s annoyed when he accidentally drops his thermos flask in the river.
As Brian, Nina and Asha turn up in the hope of saving Roy the trouble of trekking through the woods, they spot his car and realise that he’s already arrived, but is nowhere to be found. It’s then that Nina happened to spot Roy’s thermos in the river and assumes the worse…
“Nina is such an anxious person since the attack on Seb and she is terrified of something happening to people she loves“, Mollie Gallagher explains. “That fear is always there. It’s not completely gone. She’s just a lot more easily triggered by things. I think her brain immediately jumps to the conclusion that something bad has happened. I don’t think that’s gone away.
“Whereas I think in the past she would have stopped to look at the situation more calmly and rationally and realised that he has probably just dropped it, she freaks out completely and goes down the slippy bank of the river believing something terrible has happened to Roy.”
But as Nina makes her way down the bank, she slips on the mud and bangs her head, knocking herself out. Brian and Asha can only watch in horror as Nina’s limp body then tumbles straight into the river!
Brian rushes down to retrieve Nina from the cold waters, as Asha rings for an ambulance.
“Everyone is really worried about her,” Mollie adds. “She has already had a brain injury and she is knocked out cold and has to be dragged out of the river. No one knows how serious it is, she has knocked herself out but also she has been in freezing cold water. Brian and Asha are doing as much as they can but it is terrifying for them.”
The shocking scenes were filmed on the banks of the River Irwell in Springwater Park, Whitefield back in November, and Mollie admits that despite the cold, she enjoyed the challenging location shoot.
“I love being on location and I love night shoots as well. I’m a night owl so that doesn’t bother me but I don’t think I had realised how cold the water would be. I knew it was cold water but it was a lot colder. First I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve only got my feet in at this moment and I’m already freezing cold’. I had so many hot showers when I got home after lying in that muddy cold river.”
Thankfully, all the intense action scenes were taken over by a Nina stunt double, with Mollie only having to film the shots which saw Nina hit her head and then be dragged out of the river. But Mollie hadn’t anticipated having some company in the water…
“The worst part about being in the water was the fish” she laughs. “I was actually freaking out at the fish swimming around me. The crew were laughing saying you are lying in muddy cold water and it’s the fish that are bothering you! They were cute but just not something I expected!”
Thankfully, after being taken to hospital, Nina is given the all clear, but Roy can’t help but blame himself for putting Nina’s life in danger with his stubbornness. If he’d agreed to keep the phone as she suggested, Nina would have been able to contact him and the whole sorry incident would never have occured.
When Sam later calls into Roy’s Rolls to thank him for the phone, explaining how useful it will be to him with the astrononmy apps available, Roy decides to take the bull by the horns…
Nina and Asha are shocked when Roy returns from town, having bought himself a smartphone! The only thing now is working out how to use it, and whilst the girls try their best, Roy is completely flummoxed…
But when Brian heads into the cafe later in the week to find Roy using his phone to listen to classical music, Roy is forced to admit that it does have its advantages!
So would Mollie prefer to be getting her teeth into more of these dramatic scenes?
“I do love the drama and the action scenes but I am lucky that I also get the light hearted fun stuff with Nina,” she reveals. “I like it when Nina’s happy because she has a lot more interaction with people and I think that that is my favourite side of Nina, sarcastic Nina and witty Nina. So it’s kind of both in different ways. I like the action packed stuff because it was fun and it’s a bit different. But my favourite side of Nina will always be sarcastic fiery fun Nina really.”
Away from the cobbles, Mollie is well into rehearsals for her upcoming stint on ITV’s Dancing on Ice, having been announced as a contestant in October. She will be paired with dancer Sylvain Longchambon, who is of course married to Mollie’s co-star Samia (Maria O’Connor) after they met during her own stint on the show in 2015.
“I absolutely love it so much” Mollie says of her experience so far. “That doesn’t mean I’m great but I’m quite proud of how I’m doing at the minute. You know, I’m not as bad as I thought I would be. So, it just goes to show when you throw yourself into something you can actually achieve whatever you want out of it really. I can’t wait for it to start now.“