Coronation Street spoilers follow.
Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide that some readers may find upsetting.
In Friday's (September 11) hour-long episode of Coronation Street, Nick Tilsley got a surprise when he and Steve McDonald bumped into Nick's ex Natasha Blakeman while outside Weatherfield General Hospital.
Natasha claimed she was at the hospital for a dermatology appointment, but Steve was suspicious since her skin looked great.
And why didn't Nick want Steve to mention they'd seen Natasha to Leanne? Could it be there are still unresolved feelings between Nick and Natasha after all this time? After all, he did want to give their troubled relationship another go before she left Weatherfield in the back of a taxi all those years ago.
With Nick starting to feel pushed out of the picture as parents Leanne and Steve worry over Oliver's health, how will Natasha's return affect Nick and Leanne's already rocky relationship?
"I am very excited and proud to be welcomed back to Coronation Street, especially as so many old friends are still there," Rachel said when her return was officially announced in July. "It's always great to be able to return to a character to explore a whole new path for them."
Do you remember what happened between businessman Nick and hairdresser Natasha last time around? Here's a quick reminder!
Who is Natasha again?
Natasha Blakeman made her first appearance on May 12, 2008, when she arrived as Audrey Roberts's new temp hairdresser at the salon. Audrey was quickly impressed by Natasha's scissor and blow dry skills.
Natasha was given the job of styling shop assistant Molly Compton's hair for her wedding to mechanic Tyrone Dobbs at the start of 2009. The character was promoted to a regular cast member and became more central to the goings-on in Weatherfield.
Natasha set her sights on the men of Weatherfield and first went on a disastrous date with Steve McDonald, who "treated" her to takeaway food in the Rovers. Oh, the glamour and romance!
Moody factory boss Tony Gordon was a step-up from Steve. He had plenty of cash to splash and the pair began a relationship in spring 2009.
However, Natasha was unaware that salon co-worker Maria Connor had secret feelings for Tony (she was unaware at that time that Tony had murdered her husband, Liam) and she ultimately managed to cause the pair to split up.
After another dating disaster with love rat Graeme Proctor, who was also putting the moves on aspiring model Rosie Webster at the same time, Natasha set her sights on businessman Nick Tilsley.
At last, it seemed like Natasha had found her future husband. It was just too bad Nick didn't quite feel the same way.
While Natasha pushed for them to settle down and buy their own home together, Nick seemed more interested in spending time with his ex-wife Leanne Battersby. Plus, Nick's mum Gail McIntyre just didn't seem to like Natasha.
In summer 2010, just as their relationship appeared to be on the rocks, Natasha unexpectedly discovered she was pregnant.
Natasha dropped her baby bombshell during a confrontation with Nick and Leanne at the factory. But rather than winning back her man, Natasha was rejected by Nick, who was angry she hadn't told him sooner.
Not ready to be a single mum, Natasha secretly had an abortion. But then things got rather complicated…
Nick had a change of heart and decided he wanted to be a happy family with Natasha and their baby after all. Seeing her chance to win him back, desperate Natasha lied and said she was still pregnant. She stole pregnant factory worker Fiz Stape's baby scan photo and pretended it was her own.
Nick popped the question to a delighted Natasha. Unfortunately, a suspicious Gail, who worked at the local medical centre, snooped through Natasha's medical records and exposed the truth about her abortion.
Devastated, Natasha attempted to take her own life. Nick saved her and Natasha was rushed to hospital.
Although Nick offered to try again with their relationship, the damage was already done. Natasha realised she'd always be second best to Nick's first wife Leanne.
After a final showdown with Nick, Leanne, Gail and anyone else who had wronged her, a triumphant but tearful Natasha left Weatherfield on September 27, 2010. Her destination was unknown.
Why is Natasha back?
Spoiler alert! At the end of Friday's episode, Nick overheard a doctor talking to Natasha about her nine-year-old son, who she had brought into the hospital for an X-ray.
Suspiciously, Natasha failed to mention she had a child when the exes met earlier on. She also shut down the conversation when the doctor started asking about her son's dad.
The scenes confirmed a long-speculated fan theory – Natasha has a child and Nick is the father.
As a result of the chance meeting, Nick's life now looks set to be turned upside-down, just when he wants to be focusing on supporting Leanne through her son Oliver's illness.
Speaking recently about the Oliver storyline, Corrie's producer Iain MacLeod said: "There's loads of interesting extra layers to it. There's a big surprise-slash-secret that emerges from Nick's past and threatens to derail his and Leanne's relationship."
Where else do you recognise Rachel Leskovac from?
After her character was axed from Corrie in 2010, Rachel went on to play guest roles on TV series including Sky One's supermarket sitcom Trollied, Channel 4's Shameless, BBC One daytime drama Moving On and ITV's Law & Order: UK.
She co-starred with another ex-Corrie star, Sarah Lancashire, in BBC One's crime drama Happy Valley.
Natasha also had a regular role as police station secretary Susie Nightingale in BBC daytime drama WPC 56, about the first female police constables during the 1950s.
She was also back on screen this summer in her role as Gillian's arch-rival Cheryl in BBC One's Last Tango In Halifax.
But soap fans will especially remember Rachel from her role as scheming solicitor Joanne Cardsley on Hollyoaks from 2015 to 2016.
Upon her arrival in Hollyoaks village, Joanne set her sights on rekindling a past affair with her old friend Simone Loveday's husband Louis.
She turned homewrecker as she tried to sabotage their marriage and get rid of love rival Simone. After Louis rejected her advances, Joanne slept with his son Zack instead.
Joanne later made a dangerous enemy of Mercedes McQueen when she tried to steal her then boyfriend Joe Roscoe.
With a little help from fellow scheming legal eagle James Nightingale, Joanne managed to get Mercedes arrested and also wreck her and Joe's wedding plans.
As Joanne became further unhinged, she sabotaged with the controls of a ferris wheel (which led to Joe falling to his death), tried to frame Louis for assault and stabbed Simone.
She was eventually arrested for attempted murder and kidnap after a final showdown with Mercedes, who secretly recorded her criminal confessions.
Coronation Street continues every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7.30pm on ITV.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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