Since Paul Foreman (Peter Ash) received the devastating news that he has motor neurone disease (MND) on Coronation Street, the only person he’s confided in is Dee-Dee Bailey (Channique Sterling-Brown), who was acting as his solicitor after he was arrested for stealing a car.
Peter Ash told us that Paul doesn’t want to worry those who are closest to him, particularly Billy (Daniel Brocklebank) who is a very emotional person. ‘He doesn’t want to tell people because, as he says to Dee-Dee, he thinks people will treat him differently after that point, that he’ll be pitied and that he doesn’t want that, which is obviously understandable. He doesn’t want to worry people as well.’
In Monday (May 1)’s episode, Dee-Dee was concerned that Paul wasn’t facing up to the realities of the diagnosis so she secretly arranged a meeting with a woman called Trish (Steph Parry), whose husband had had MND.
One of the things Trish talked to Paul about was how expensive everything would get. She said that as he became progressively more disabled he would need special equipment that would cost a lot of money.
Eventually Paul felt overwhelmed by the whole thing. After Trish had gone, Dee-Dee urged him to talk to Billy but he once again reiterated that he didn’t think Billy would be able to cope. He said that he would wait until after his sister Gemma (Dolly-Rose Campbell)’s wedding and would then tell everybody.
Paul got home and found Summer (Harriet Bibby) looking for jobs, as Billy had let slip earlier that Paul was having money problems and she’d decided to help out with the family finances.
This was all too much for poor Paul. ‘The state of me. Summer has to go out to work because I’m so flaming useless,’ he said to Billy later.
Billy, who thinks that Paul’s problems are still all down to a hand injury, reassured him that he would be fine once he was back at work. ‘You’ll be right as rain before you know it, ‘ he insisted.
Paul – who knows that’s absolutely not the case – started to fill up with tears. ‘It’s all getting to me a bit,’ he said. He told Billy he loved him and said he was ‘just feeling a bit needy.’
As Billy pulled him in for a hug Paul couldn’t stop the tears from flowing, as he contemplated what could be lying ahead in the very near future – and how he was going to have to break the heart of the man he loves by telling him.
Coronation Street continues Wednesday May 3 at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.
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