Next week on Coronation Street, as Lauren admits to her friends the desperate measures she’s taken, is a new romance on the cards?
Bobby’s (Jack Carroll) blossoming friendship with Lauren (Cait Fitton) takes another step next week, as the cheeky chappy convinces her to go on a date.
Bobby has wasted no time in charming his way with some of the local female population, after his shock arrival on the doorstep of Aunty Carla (Ali King) just after Christmas.
In the meantime, Lauren has been struggling as she works to afford the rent on her precinct flat, whilst also studying with Daniel (Rob Mallard) in the hope of being able to sit her English GCSE. Although she has been given a job by Roy (David Neilson) in the cafe, Lauren is finding it difficult to make ends meet, particularly now that she’s dumped her mysterious unseen boyfriend who seemed to be quite flash with cash.
Lauren is pleased when Daniel tells her that he’s impressed with her latest work and that he believes she’s ready to sit her GCSE. But that pride soon turns to despair when she realises that it will cost her £148 to register for the exam.
Lauren’s dealt another blow when she explains to Bobby that all the books she needs to revise for the exam are already out on loan from the local library. Bobby thoughtfully takes the list of set books to Evelyn (Maureen Lipman) asking if she can track down any that come through the charity shop.
On Valentine’s Day, Bobby surprises Lauren with a small bunch of flowers at the cafe, only for a delivery guy to promptly show up with an elaborate bouquet.
Bobby’s embarrassed to realise he has some competition, and whilst Lauren thanks him for his flowers, her phone then rings which gives a saddened Bobby the idea that she’s already spoken for.
However, Lauren is quick to tell the caller to leave her alone. Her ex clearly wants her back, but as Cait Fitton explains, Lauren is conflicted.
“There’s this so-called boyfriend that no one knows about, we kind of get the feeling that he’s a lot older than Lauren, that he’s got more financial stability which is what Lauren needs in her life, but that’s all we know. I think her head is saying you’re in the right place, you’re getting given money towards your flat, he obviously cares about you.”
“But then you’ve also got Bobby who brings a lot of excitement into Lauren’s life. He understands Lauren and he’s got that banter with her. Bobby knows about Lauren’s past and he looks beyond that.”
“Lauren has a massive guard up and I think she will for a long, long time,” Cait continues. “I hope Bobby is one of the people who can bring that guard down for Lauren but it’s going to be a long road. I hope that in time she can settle down on the street and find some stability in a relationship or even a friendship with Bobby.”
But does Cait believe Lauren feels bad for Bobby feeling that he is being sidelined for a richer alternative?
“She does feel bad for him, he’s stuck around, he’s seen her with her attitude and he doesn’t care, if anything he tries harder. He perseveres and Lauren’s never had someone like that before. I think this with the flowers is not just a kick in the teeth for Bobby but kind of a kick in the teeth for Lauren too as she doesn’t want to be in this situation.”
Later in the week, Lauren is at her wits end when the latest bill arrives, a final demand from the energy company. Despite her desperation, Lauren seemingly isn’t tempted to go back to her ‘boyfriend’, as she makes a phone call reiterating that she wants nothing to do with him and doesn’t need his money.
Bobby is thrilled to bits when Lauren subsequently agrees to go on a date with him, but as desperation begin to kicks in, she turns back to her old ways to make some easy cash.
When Max (Paddy Bever) and Sabrina (Luana Santos) call round at the flat, they’re surprised to find Lauren in a sexy outfit, where she’s forced to reveal that she has resorted to going back to making adult videos on O-Vidz.
“Her account got banned the first time because she was underage,” Cait reminds us, Lauren having since turned 18 in December. “She had that discussion with Ryan who tried to tell her that despite everything that happens online, you’ll still feel worthless. Lauren has managed to convince herself she just needs the cash but I think at this point she does feel worthless. No one has ever really loved her properly, she’s not had stability in her life, hence why she makes friendships and then ruins them.”
But how will her friends react knowing Lauren has reached this point?
“She knows that it’s wrong, as much as she’s saying it’s under control she’s trying to convince herself that it is,” Cait explains. “Max takes it the hardest, he’s seen Lauren at her worst and he’s seen her at her best. There’s that vulnerability between them, there’s always going to be that trauma bond.”
“It’s hard for Max because he’s with Sabrina now so there’s a line he can’t cross anymore despite how close they are. Lauren can see that pain in Max but I think she almost chooses not to see it, to convince herself that it’s okay.”
Lauren’s certainly been through the wringer since she was first introduced as part of Max’s grooming storyline in November 2022, but how has Cait found playing her?
“At first it was quite hard because I didn’t really know her backstory and I was just here for a few months but now I’ve come back it’s given me a massive opportunity to dive into who she is and why she is the way she is.”
“I love playing her, I think she’s such a complex character and I think there’s so much more to her than we know so far. I’m hoping that by interacting with other characters like Bobby and Daniel, that we’re going to see different sides to her.”
“There’s a reason why she is the way she is and I’m hoping that whatever happens, whenever my time’s up here, that I’ve done a good job and been able to show people that Lauren is not just what you see is what you get, there’s more to it than that.”
Whilst it remains to be seen how Bobby will react to learning of Lauren’s money-spinner, he also has another truth to deal with regarding his father, Carla’s half-brother Rob Donovan (Marc Baylis) who he only recently learned the identity of.
Although Bobby is aware of his father’s imprisonment after killing Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan) back in 2014, and his even visited him, he’s clearly unaware of the full circumstances.
Rita (Barbara Knox) and Mary (Patti Clare) are stunned to learn that Bobby is the son of Rob, and their reaction leads Bobby to ask Carla for further details on Tina, the girl he’s led to believe his dad had killed in self-defence.
Bobby is shocked when Carla reveals that it had not been self-defence, but that Rob had killed Tina in cold blood.
How will Bobby deal with this bombshell about his newfound father?