CORONATION STREET barmaid Tina McIntyre’s life is about to get even more complicated – as dad-to-be Gary Windass starts to fall in love with her. Gorgeous Tina is almost six months’ pregnant as a surrogate mum for Gary and his disabled girlfriend Izzy Armstrong — but grows worryingly close to Gary after she arrives back from her latest baby scan to discover her flat has been burgled.
Single Tina, played by Michelle Keegan, has also lost her job thanks to Karl Munro burning down the Rovers Return, so is doubly vulnerable. But Gary (Mikey North) becomes her hero when he offers to stay over to protect her flat and arranges some extra secretarial shifts for her at the builders’ yard where he works. With Tina’s baby hormones making her more emotional than normal, and Gary’s obsessive nature, fans will wonder what their relationship means for poor Izzy (Cherylee Houston).
Actress Michelle revealed Tina misses all the warning signs about Gary’s feelings. She says: “Tina is a bit confused over why Gary offers to help her out. But as soon as he says it was Izzy’s idea she accepts it. She sees it as them both looking out for her. But then she realises it’s more complex. Michelle says: “Obviously she’s carrying Gary’s baby for him and Izzy — and he’s beginning to get confused, feeling things for Tina that shouldn’t really be there.”
The break-in leaves Tina needing a shoulder to cry on, especially after she discovers the thieves took her beloved late father’s ring. Michelle says: “Tina is confused as to why the ring was stolen and who’s done it. She’s very upset about it — that’s what she’s most upset about, not the damage to the flat. She calls the police straight away but is quite scared because she lives on her own.”
Gary and Izzy’s IVF baby is due this summer and Tina has tried not to get too emotionally involved — not even looking at the results of her hospital scan. Michelle says: “She wants to stay detached, which is why she doesn’t really look at the scan on the computer screen. She wants Gary and Izzy to share the moment as a couple. She’s doing this for them and doesn’t want to grow attached to the baby.”
For now, Tina is prepared to give up the child as soon as it is born and go back to life as usual. But Michelle fears her screen character is kidding herself. She says: “Tina thinks it’s all going to be fine, that it is just a business arrangement. She knows it’s not her baby and thinks she knows what she has to do — that she’s not confused by the emotions one bit. But maybe she hasn’t thought far enough down the line.”
The surrogacy is Corrie’s biggest upcoming storyline and, if Gary’s feelings for Tina are ever reciprocated, this could be Weatherfield’s most explosive love affair, with devastating consequences which would play out for years to come.
Michelle’s male fans, who have voted her sexiest soap siren four years in a row, may be unused to seeing her wearing a baby bump and slobbing around in maternity clobber. But Michelle — who is dating hunky TV host Mark Wright — is loving it.
She says: “The best thing about wearing the bump is it keeps me warm in the cold weather. I’ve also been quite a broody person so it’s nice to have the bump and to wear maternity clothes. It’s quite cute. But it makes it quite awkward to go to the toilet and takes longer to get changed in the morning.” Meanwhile, Michelle has already started researching the birth scenes. She says: “I’m quite excited about filming them. I watch One Born Every Minute quite a lot so am looking forward to it.”
In another hint about the ITV soap’s plans for Gary and Tina, Michelle says: “I am looking forward to working with a baby. Obviously, I work with little Ruby — Tyrone’s baby — quite a lot and I really enjoy that. I love kids so am quite excited about it. The only thing is, you can’t control babies on set so if I’m doing a scene where I’m worried about my lines it could be tricky. Other than that, I’m well up for it!”