Coronation Street spoilers follow.
Coronation Street star Gareth Pierce has spoken about Paul Foreman's upcoming exit storyline for the first time.
The actor's character Todd Grimshaw will play a bigger role in Paul's Motor Neurone Disease (MND) storyline later this year.
In March, Corrie bosses announced that Paul would be diagnosed with MND and the emotional scenes aired a few weeks later. As there is no cure for the life-shortening condition, the story means that Peter Ash – who plays Paul – will be leaving the ITV soap at some point in the future.
Todd was recently informed of Paul's diagnosis and will remain linked to the story as he, Paul and Billy Mayhew are all united as father figures to Summer Spellman.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy at the British Soap Awards 2023, Gareth commented: "Me and Peter have played some really lovely stuff together. Todd was being quite horrible to Paul a couple of years ago, and you can only really do that if you get on pretty well in real life!
"You've got that sense of trust and you can push those scenes, knowing full well that you can go for a pint in the evening together and be mates.
"I'm going to really miss Peter. He's a brilliant performer and I'm sure he's going to go onto lots of really brilliant things.
"You are only entrusted with that level of storyline if the programme makers really rate you. That's the tough side of it. Obviously because of where that story will head, it means Peter leaving the show. But he'll be leaving on such a high, and I think he'll get loads of other work as well when he goes."
Gareth predicted that Todd can be a supportive figure to Paul now that their past animosity has been set aside.
He confirmed: "The bridges that have been built in that relationship will mean that Todd comes into that storyline later in the year.
"Not even I really know exactly how yet. They don't trust actors with things like storylines, as they know what we're like! But I know a little bit of what will be happening there.
"Now that we've passed that and gone beyond [their feud], Todd is being a bit more introspective. He is getting a bit more perspective on life and maybe realises that he's not always the main person.
"It means that Todd is now able to explore that friendship. That idea of him taking the rap for Paul recently was maybe something that Todd felt he had to do in order to redeem himself."
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.
Coronation Street has been working on Paul's storyline with support from the MND Association, which focuses on improving access to care, research and campaigning for people affected by motor neurone disease.
The charity's helpline MND Connect (0808 802 6262) is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and 7pm to 10.30pm. Calls are free.
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