Bill Fellows has spent the last few weeks alluding to the fact his Coronation Street character, Stu Carpenter, is hiding a huge secret.
And what a secret it is.
Tonight, Yasmeen (Shelley King) and Alya (Sair Khan) wondered why Stu was so bothered by the fact a journalist focused on his homelessness and turning his life around for the Weatherfield Gazette article.
Stu told Yasmeen and Alya the piece should’ve focused more on the food saving scheme – not his life story.
However, later in the episode, it became apparent there was another reason why Stu didn’t want his face all over the media.
When Lucy – Stu’s ex-wife – arrived, Alya and Yasmeen were puzzled at the fact their friend was being randomly confronted by a potential customer.
Approaching the former couple, Alya and Yasmeen were keen to know what was going on.
Lucy told Stu’s new friends that he was in prison years ago, facing time behind bars for murdering a young woman.
We discovered that after Stu returned from the Navy, his life got significantly better when he started working at a restaurant.
However, when a woman called Charlie went missing and was later found dead in the woods, Stu’s DNA was all over her.
Yasmeen learnt that Stu confessed to the crime, he apparently murdered Charlie because she threatened to expose their affair – so why is this character so desperate to convince Yasmeen and Alya that he’s actually innocent?
‘It’s going to be really hard for Stu to convince people’, Bill Fellows recently told us.
‘We’ve known Stu for a long time now but I think people are going to start doubting him and they will want to protect Yasmeen more than Stu. It’s going to be really interesting, will the audience believe Stu or not? I believe him!’
Thanks to previous chats with Bill, we learnt that when he was first told about Stu, he didn’t really know much about him and his past.
He knew he was homeless, had a criminal background, but as the actor explains here, the twist was very unexpected!
‘When Iain MacLeod first told me the storyline, I thought it was a great storyline and I liked the twist. He then told me that Stu had been in prison for 27 years which surprised me and he told me that Stu had had an affair with a young waitress when he was married and had a child at home and that was a surprise too!
‘But that’s why I call Stu a flawed character and I love this storyline because I love that Stu is flawed, I like that he has made mistakes.’
Bill is aware that the audience’s reaction tonight will be mixed. Coronation Street fans have taken Stu to their hearts – they’re rooting for him, wanting him to do well so yes, drop a huge bombshell that he might actually be a murderer will leave everyone with many questions.
‘I think that people will question whether Stu is telling the truth and I think viewers will feel sorry for Yasmeen because yet again, she has met a man who has brought her nothing but trouble’, Bill says, reflecting on Yasmeen’s abusive past with Geoff.
‘It’s really hard for Yasmeen and I think a lot of people will think, “Get rid of him!” And Stu is too much trouble, he is a nice fella, but he has brought nothing but trouble to the Nazirs, if I am honest!
‘I think a lot of people are invested in Yasmeen and want happiness for her and just as Yasmeen was beginning to find it… this big secret comes out and she finds out that she is dealing with someone who has kept a massive part of his life a secret from her.’
While scrolling on social media, Bill has come across a lot of theories about Stu, but he confirms that no one has guessed the details and the fact his character spent a huge portion of his life behind bars:
‘It’s been really interesting to read what everyone has been saying online and their suspicions of Stu. On social media, someone mentioned that they thought Stu had been in prison, which was correct but no one has guessed why Stu was in prison and no one has guessed how long Stu had been in prison which even now, when I say that it was 27 years, I think, “Wow, that is a lifetime”’.
Recently, Bill opened up about his family reaction to being offered the Corrie role. He told us his loved ones now think he’s ‘made it’ as an actor and his sister, a passionate fan of the ITV soap, often gives her opinion on characters like Corey and Imran.
Being given the responsibility of keeping Stu’s secret hidden until the scenes aired wasn’t really a challenge for Bill, as he knew his sister wouldn’t be happy if he told her!
‘As an actor I just did not tell anyone because my sister watches it avidly and she wouldn’t want me to spoil it for her. I don’t want to spoil it for people, and I know that some people love to know the spoilers sometimes but deep down I think that they do want to be surprised so I look at it from that point of view.’
So, what’s ahead for Stu as the summer draws to a close and autumn begins?
‘The first major thing is to try and get the people he loves and cares about to believe him; Yasmeen, Alya and Zeedan’, Bill explains.
‘Without giving the game away, there are loads of twists and turns in this storyline, it’s not just that Stu needs to prove his innocence… There are loads of elements to this story that come into play.
‘This bombshell has blown up now.’