Corrie’s Mikey North describes filming ‘nerve-wracking’ socially distanced stunt

Mikey North has described the “nerve-wracking” experience of filming a socially distanced stunt on Coronation Street.

The storyline will see North’s character Gary Windass being mowed down by an oncoming car, and the scene was reworked to adhere to new safety precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When Rick Neelan’s engraved watch is found in the woods, Sarah (Tina O’Brien) demands answers from Gary about his involvement in the loan shark’s disappearance and his web of lies unravel.

Filming with Tina O'Brien
Mikey North films with Tina O’Brien (Lee Raynor/ITV)

Terrified by Gary’s admissions, Sarah runs away from him to call the police. As Gary chases Sarah down the street, a car hurtles towards her and Gary dives into the path of danger, pushing her to safety and saving her life.

To avoid contact between the actors and to adhere to social distancing guidelines, a mannequin was dressed in Sarah’s clothes and used in place of O’Brien in certain shots.

North said: “We are having to shoot things quite differently, there’s more camera trickery to making us look closer than we are.

Filming with the mannequin (Lee Raynor/ITV)
Filming with the mannequin (Lee Raynor/ITV)

“The stunt was me acting with the dummy Sarah at times and it’s not easy but we have done as best we can, it’s just really nice to get back there and the crew have been fantastic and the scripts have been edited in a way where we can film it.

“It’s changed quite a lot from what we had for this week before lockdown but hopefully we’ve not lost any of the effect from it.”

Discussing doing his own stunt, he said: “It’s always nice to get involved and do that, I always ask to do my own stunts if I can.

“I enjoy it, it’s one of the best parts of the job for me so luckily they let me do it and I was on the bonnet of the car and it was good fun, I really enjoy it, getting bashed about.

Filming on the Corrie set (Lee Raynor/ITV)
Filming on the Corrie set (Lee Raynor/ITV)

“The stunt guy showed me what to do and it was quite wet on the bonnet actually and I thought I’m going to lose my grip and probably get hit by the car but luckily I got away with it somehow but it was pretty nerve-wracking, the first take.”

Director David Kester said: “Because of social distancing, Mikey cannot touch Tina or push her away and that is integral to the stunt because his character has got to look heroic and that he has saved her.

“We are cheating it by using a mannequin from Underworld and if we shoot it in the right way, making it a tight shot and we do it very quickly, it will work and will still sell the idea that he has pushed her.”

The episodes will air on July 29.

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