Coronation Street tragedy as Jacob Hay’s dark past exposed in devastating twist?

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Jacob (played by Jack Ryan) has been trying to show he has turned over a new leaf since reappearing on Coronation Street late last year. The character was originally introduced onto the ITV soap as a drug dealer who had been tasked by Harvey Gaskell (Will Mellor) to groom recruits for the criminal enterprise. He has a lot of making up to do, especially with Simon Barlow (Alex Bain), but it could be the newcomer will reveal one of his darkest secrets as he tries to justify his actions.

It has been revealed already Jacob has faced the consequences of wanting to leave the world of drug dealing as he has been seen on the show looking bloodied and bruised.

Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney) and Summer Spellman (Harriett Bibby) bumped into him outside the hospital during last Friday’s instalment of the weeknight serial drama and seemed unsympathetic to his current state.

In the coming weeks and months, the character on the road to redemption will begin to build a relationship with Amy as he becomes part of the community.

As he tries to leave his old life behind him, he could be forced to delve into his past as the actor who plays him, Jack, told Express.co.uk and other press his alter-ego is troubled for a reason.

The young soap star explained: “I think he’s always, in one way or another, going to be tied up in his unsavoury past.”

Jack added: “I think it’s going to be a defining feature of him moving forward whether he likes it or not but I think he is genuinely wanting to change.

“He genuinely wants to be a better person and create a new life for himself,” he continued before discussing his character’s past.

“I think it’s [also] important to point out that Jacob is a victim as well [as Simon] in regards to the whole drug situation.

“He’s a young lad and in the same way Jacob groomed Simon, Harvey also groomed Jacob in the first place to get him involved in the gang.

“I think the reason he was doing all of that stuff was that he was being blackmailed and he was being forced into it.”

It’s going to be a defining feature

Jack Ryan

The soap star said: “I think because Harvey is back in prison, I think this is the perfect time for Jacob to be like, ‘This is my opportunity.

“‘This is my chance to create a new life for myself.’ So even though there is that, it’s not going to be easy for him to leave the gang.

“But in regards to why he wanted to [leave the gang], I just think he genuinely wants a new beginning and he wants a fresh start for himself.”

With this in mind and as Amy starts to get to know him a little better as well, she could learn about his troubled childhood.

She could discover his parents were not around very much and so he had to fend for himself to make sure he made something of himself.

Seeing Jacob as a vulnerable child who needed help with money, Harvey could have stepped in to promise him riches beyond his wildest dreams.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t have told the youngster what enterprise he was running until it was too late and by then, Jacob would have been in too deep.

Instead of trying to break free from the gang so young and risk being killed, he had no choice but to stay and hasn’t known a world without drugs.

This is why he could seem nervous and tentative upon his return to the cobbles as he has always been told what to do.

Will the residents of the cobbles accept Jacob was a victim as well or will his actions have caused them to think differently about him?

Executive producer, Iain MacLeod, also spoke to Express.co.uk and other press about bringing the youngster back into the fold.

The soap boss said: “Jack [James Ryan, who plays Jacob] is a fantastically good actor. He also feels very Coronation Street and he’s got funny bones.

“He’s got a really good way with the comedy and feels very authentic as well.

“Sometimes when you import a ‘bad guy’ or ‘criminal’ into a show like ours, it doesn’t quite have the ring of authenticity, but that was never the case with him.

“Jacob is trying to redeem himself. We discover things about how he arrived into the drug gang which will reframe people’s view of him and make you see him in a slightly different light.”

Speaking about playing Jacob, Jack explained: “I do believe that everyone deserves a second chance. And I hope that Jacob can prove to us all that he really wants to change and be a better person.

“But Jacob as a character, though, is obviously very close to my heart.

“I love playing him, and I’m really, really excited for viewers to get to know him a little bit better. I think the possibilities for Jacob are endless.

“I’m really excited to see what he gets up to. I love people coming up to me and talking to me about the show when they’re loving the storyline and stuff like that.

“It’s been really great. It’s been really positive overall. But I definitely think they all love to hate him.”

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:30pm and 8:30pm on ITV.

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