Coronation Street stars discuss tragic Christmas story for Leanne Battersby

From Digital Spy

Coronation Street spoilers follow.

Coronation Street stars Georgia Taylor and Charlie de Melo have revealed details of a heartbreaking Christmas storyline for Leanne Battersby.

Georgia and Charlie's characters Toyah Battersby and Imran Habeeb enjoy a heartwarming time over the festive season as they have their first experience as foster parents. However, they're unaware that a grief-stricken Leanne is struggling nearby.

In scenes airing over Christmas, Toyah and Imran believe that Leanne has left Weatherfield for a while as she tries to rebuild her life following the tragic loss of Oliver.

This allows Toyah and Imran to fully focus on their fostering commitments, but Leanne hasn't really left and has secretly locked herself away in her flat – isolated from any support.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Related: Coronation Street star Charlie de Melo speaks out on Imran Habeeb's big Christmas storyline

Speaking to Digital Spy and other media, Georgia explained: "The timing is really difficult, to say the least. But as far as Toyah is concerned, she believes that Leanne has gone to France to see her mum Stella and Eva.

"The fact that Toyah believes Leanne is physically distant makes it easier for her to enjoy the moment with the baby, feeling that Leanne is elsewhere being taken care of.

"That's not to say that Leanne is not in her thoughts – and she is. Toyah is trying to call her and text her. She's very much aware of that, but also she's in this bubble with this new child."

Asked whether Toyah is aware of how much Leanne is struggling, Georgia replied: "No, because I hope that if she was, she would be a bit more productive and pragmatic in trying to reach her. You would think, with Toyah's background as a counsellor, she's aware that grief is a long process. For someone who loses a child, it's a process that never ends.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

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"But I think Leanne has done a good job to convince the world that she's doing okay. Toyah so wants to believe that and maybe doesn't quite see the warning signs. In a way, it's her wanting to believe that that's the truth, rather than it necessarily being the truth."

Charlie added that it's convenient for Toyah and Imran to believe that Leanne is away while they're focusing on providing temporary care to baby boy Mason.

He said: "It's a relief for Toyah in particular, because she has been enveloped in Leanne's heartbreak in such a big way, so the idea of bringing a child into their fold sounds cruel.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

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"Now it's having a bit of distance and having Leanne 'away' – especially as it's a short-term thing so it could be a situation where Mason comes and goes while Leanne is not even there.

"So it's trying to put it off and trying to divorce the two situations. They're inextricably linked, but it's trying to put that out of their minds and enjoy this baby."

Coronation Street airs an hour-long special on Christmas Day at 7pm on ITV.

Watch: Ask Anna - 'I'm lonely and sad since my mum died - how do I rebuild my life?'

The Cruse Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement.

The helpline, 0808 808 1677, is open Monday-Friday at 9.30am-5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when it is open until 8pm. You can also email

Cruse Scotland can be reached on 0845 600 2227 or

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