The eyes of one of the nation’s favourite shows will once more be on Blackpool, as Coronation Street revisits the resort.
The ITV soap is preparing for an hour-long live episode next Wednesday night, as part of the channel’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
As part of the week’s programming, fans of the show will see the beloved Roy Cropper return to the resort with some mixed emotions.
Blackpool has a hold on Roy’s heart, as the place he brought his late wife Hayley to live out her dream of dancing in the Tower Ballroom, shortly after her diagnosis with terminal cancer.
The pair, played by David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh, had a joyful day in town almost two years ago, making precious memories.
And in scenes broadcast last autumn, Roy returned as he attempted to scatter his late wife’s ashes into the sea off Central Promenade, after she committed suicide to end her suffering.
Now, he’s set to visit as part of a birthday surprise, organised by Cathy Matthews, played by Melanie Hill, as she builds up courage to admit her feelings for him are more than just friendly.
In promotional material for the episode, Coronation Street chiefs said: “Roy and Cathy’s friendship grows stronger, but her surprise trip to Blackpool for his birthday leaves him haunted by memories of Hayley.”
In Monday’s 8.30pm episode the pair will be seen taking in the sea air on North Pier and enjoying an ice cream, over-looked by the Tower.
A further statement said: “When Cathy mentions the Tower Ballroom, Roy struggles with the reminder of his dance with Hayley.
“On the beach, Cathy steels herself to tell Roy how she feels.
“Will she hold her nerve?”
Cathy and Roy’s friendship was struck up over their love of gardening after meeting at the allotment.
Their bond strengthened when it emerged that Cathy too was grieving the loss of her husband, and fans of the soap have seen Roy help her try to overcome and obsession with hoarding her belongings.
Monday starts a week of high drama in the soap, with Fylde coast actresses Lucy Fallon and Hayley Tamaddon among those taking key roles in the plot.
As a member of the Platt family, Lucy – who plays Sarah’s troublesome teenage daughter Bethany – will be at the heart of the action, when the storyline surrounding bad guy Callum and his fight over son Max reaches its climax.
In dramatic trailers for the live episode, Bethany’s mum and uncle David, played by Tina O’Brien and Jack P Shepherd, have been seen chased by Callum through the street, with the tagline “Nowhere to run”.
Later this week, she will admit to having covered for Callum, providing an alibi for the bad guy’s attack on her mum’s ex-Jason Grimshaw.
While Lucy only joined the show in January, Hayley will wave a fond farewell in next week’s live episode, when her character Andrea Beckett leaves with boyfriend Lloyd Mullaney, played by Craig Charles.
Ahead of the live shows, Andrea has admitted her feelings for Lloyd - after finding herself pregnant, and tells him she wants them to make a go of it. In Friday’s show they decide to leave for a job she’s been offered in Jersey.