Coronation Street star Connor McIntyre speaks out on Phelan's final return and comeuppance

The wait is nearly over! A few weeks after Coronation Street supervillain Pat Phelan made a shock return from the dead, anticipation is now building for the inevitable moment that he heads back to the cobbles with one final revenge plan.

ITV has started teasing Phelan’s comeback with a special trailer which hints at danger for a number of the Weatherfield residents. With this in mind, there was no better time for Digital Spy to have a catch-up with Connor McIntyre, who plays Phelan, about his character’s last stand.

Phelan has been off our screens for a while now. Do you think some fans are secretly missing him?

“I think some of them are, don’t you? It’s really delaying the gratification. There’s a real tension about: ‘what’s he up to?’ Because you and I know he’s not just up to nothing.

“We saw Phelan leave the guest house and he said: ‘Oh, you know, there’s things to do’. So I think the guy’s on a mission. I wonder what those things can be? Because it’s not going to be great for somebody…”

There’s a big Corrie week coming up, which will feature Phelan’s final revenge. Will it be worth the wait?

“The short answer to that is: yes, definitely. We’ve taken the fans on some ride, haven’t we? It’s been a rollercoaster, with ups and downs, and false starts. There’s been some frustration with people wondering when Phelan is going to get his comeuppance.

“I think it’s a really great pay-off for the fans, I really do. The soap gods decree that all the bad guys must get their comeuppance in some way, so I think the fans are in for a hell of a ride.

“Bear in mind, that’s just one component within that week. There’s just extraordinary drama going on everywhere.”

Are you pleased you’re getting the big 9pm Britain’s Got Talent week for your final story?

“It’s a real compliment. So I’m delighted, of course, and I think everyone’s risen to these really exciting episodes to film. I hope everybody enjoys it and I’m sure they will.”

What kind of mood is Phelan in when he returns?

“He’s not happy. Now we’ve got Pat Phelan in a situation where he’s on the run and he’s got nothing to lose. He feels like he’s got nobody on his side now.

“But there’s one thing. There’s one component in all of this that’s potentially explosive, and that’s the birth of his grandson or granddaughter. So that is the really explosive component. That creates danger for a lot of people. And it creates danger for people that you wouldn’t normally expect. It’s everybody.”

How are you feeling about leaving the show?

“I’m sad for the normal reasons when you leave after working with such a great bunch of people. You always miss the people. I think when you come in to play the villain, you know there’s an end point. I’ve overstayed my welcome! (Laughs.) I’m so grateful, I can’t tell you. The whole gig’s been a blessing for me.

“I owe a real debt of gratitude to [producers] Kate Oates and Tony Hammond here. And of course, Stuart Blackburn who brought me in originally. I’ve got nothing but gratitude.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I’m doing panto with Les Dennis at Christmas. What a perfect counterpoint to Pat Phelan. I’ve heard some people say: ‘Oh, you know, you should be going forward’. But panto goes back many centuries. I consider it a legitimate actor’s work.

“To be able to go and do a panto here in Manchester, I think is a perfect rounding up of the year and a perfect counterpoint to playing Pat Phelan. I’ll also learn a lot, because I’ve never done it before. And then we’ll see what happens after that.”

Would you like to play a nice guy next?

“You know there’s a saying that the way is easy for those who have no preference? It’s a nice saying, so we’ll see what happens. I think if you’re working at any time in this day and age, you’re very lucky. So we’ll see what work comes through.

“If not, I’m a painter as well, so I’ve got that aspect of my life. These things can turn into something else, or they can not. So we’ll see.”

Which of Pat Phelan’s victims were you most sad about killing?

“Luke, because Luke was the one that didn’t have any blemishes on him. He was the one who was the truth-seeker. Phelan kept saying: ‘Let it go, kid. Let it go’. But Luke was determined to get to the truth of what happened to his friend and his sister’s fiancé. He knew something wasn’t right and he wouldn’t let it go. In the end, that cost him.

“That was the saddest one, I think. Most people were sad about that. They were shocked. I think it was shocking for Phelan as well.”

Has it ever bothered you that certain people have been criticising your story at times? Even high profile people like Parky and Fern Britton?

“No. I’m just doing my job. My obligation is between ‘action’ and ‘cut’, and everybody is entitled to their opinion, of course. There’s no question about that. Coronation Street is providing great drama and Pat Phelan is only one component of that. But I deeply respect other people’s opinions.

“I’m very proud that my work has been associated with Kate Oates’s tenure as producer. I’m very proud of that and I think she’s been terrific for the show. I love her. She’s been great.”

How are you feeling about making it down to the Best Actor shortlist for the British Soap Awards?

“I’m delighted. I was genuinely honoured anyway to be nominated with some really great actors, but I’m now absolutely over the moon to be down to the shortlist. It really speaks for how the character has developed and the opportunities I’ve been given here. I’m over the moon.”

Votes for the British Soap Awards can be cast via the ceremony’s official website. Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Coronation Street spoilers, as the Connors struggle after Aidan’s death and Zeedan struggles to let Rana go.

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