Corrie’s Will Mellor teases viewers will do a U-turn on ‘horrible’ Harvey after learning past

Actor Will Mellor is currently tripping the light fantastic on Strictly Come Dancing every Saturday night so Coronation Street viewers were extremely surprised when he suddenly popped back up as bad boy Harvey Gaskell having first appeared in the role in March last year.

The character was sent to jail last year for the murder of Natasha Blakeman. But with her young son Sam [played by award winning young actor Jude Riordan] wanting answers about his mum’s death, he is back as Nick agrees to let the youngster visit him in prison.

And the 46-year-old father of two took thinks viewers may actually develop an empathy for Harvey after watching these scenes.

“He didn't have anything, his mum died and I think he grew up with not much love. He found his way on the street, got in with the wrong crowd and realised I’m a somebody here,” says Will.

“Probably all he wanted was a bit of love and attention and care, like any kid, and then if you end up being on the wrong side of the street, with crime and drugs and no-one caring, this crowd became his shield, his barrier. These people groom kids, he was groomed himself and he ended up becoming one of them.”

It's an interesting take on a character that is universally hated by fans of the show. However this heavy backstory is the reason that Will agreed to reprise the role.

“I love playing this character, that's why I came back, I wouldn't have done it if it was going to weaken the character in any way because I think what we did with it last time was enough but what I did like is, let's explain a little bit why these people behave the way they behave. I think it's interesting to dive into that,” he says.

As Sam probes him about his motivation for killing his mum viewers will see the usually hard Harvey start to crack. As Will says: “It's like having a session with a psychiatrist and Sam starts touching a few nerves.”

But his motivation for meeting the youngster aren’t entirely virtuous as Will reveals.

“He wants to stop the letters because I think they're affecting him. In prison you need to get stuff out of your mind, you can’t be weak, he has a reputation as this guy. But then Sam is pushing to find out why Harvey is the way he is and I think some of what he’s saying is right, no one is just evil or born bad. I think he has his reasons behind why Harvey is the way he is and Sam is asking questions of him.”

Whatever the reasons this return obviously begs the question of whether or not Harvey could become a permanent fixture on the show. But Will isn’t keen on a contrived storyline to make that happen.

“I don’t want Harvey to suddenly get out of prison and be running the Rovers Return, what I want is for Harvey to be real and a message to go out there that there are people like this, grooming kids, who don’t care about them or their families. There is a reason why he is as he is, I’ve enjoyed playing this story and humanising him but it's also an important message to look out for these kids and I don’t want to weaken that.”

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