Corrie fans were beside themselves last night when in the closing moments of Wednesday’s episode, a blast from the past appeared on screen.
No, it wasn’t Annie Walker back from the dead (if you’re under 30 – ask your mum!)
Nor was it hilarious former barmaid Raquel, back from wherever she had disappeared to! (Ask your big sister!)
No, the surprise visitor in question was none other than the incredibly dashing, but devilishly wicked Rob Donovan (Marc Baylis).
You remember him!
He was Carla’s sexy bruv (swoon) who killed Tina McIntyre a couple of years ago (boo), tried to pin the killing on Peter Barlow (hiss!) and then got banged up after Carla and his lover Tracy teamed up to take him down (hoorah!).
In Corrie’s latest plot twist, Rob is on the run after a car taking him to another prison crashed and has headed back to the Street (surely the first place police will look!) to see Tracy!
In last night’s scene, viewers saw Tracy creeping through the empty gym clearly expecting to meet someone.
“It’s only me, it’s alright,” she calls out into the darkness.
“Well I hope you’re proud of yourself because of you I’ve stuffed up another relationship. Well go on, say something.”
Then stepping forward out of the shadows, Rob emerges and says: “I suppose a bunk up is out of the question then?”
Fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing and were fast to express their excitement and show on social media, with one fan shocked by his return admitting, “didn’t see that coming!” while another couldn’t wait until Friday to see what was going to happens next.
So what does this mean? Is Rob back on the Street permanently?
And does his shock return make him a surprise suspect in the ‘Who pushed Ken Barlow down the stairs?’ mystery?
Only time will tell, although Marc quite happily says “absolutely” his return most definitely puts him in the frame.
Whether that pans out, remains to be seen, but Marc promises that viewers will be hooked by the ongoing storylines between Rob and Tracy.
“What will develop from this is that Rob is a very different person to the last time we saw him,” he says.
“A lot has occurred over the last 18 months and he was very angry and bitter at that point about the two women that he loved most in his life being responsible for him being sentenced to prison.
“So the anger that was underneath that whole storyline in which he threatened to reveal that Johnny was Carla’s dad is a very different Rob to what we see now.”
Marc also teased that Rob could be back on the cobbles for a longer spell.
Asked if there was the potential for him to be back permanently, he said he’d “handle that conversation with every other conversation I’ve had”.
“I love playing the character, I love the show and if the producers and writers feel I have something I can offer to tell good stories on this show I’m 100 percent behind that.”
Marc also said that in an ideal world, he’d have Rob and Tracy live happily ever after. Though we reckon, knowing the Corrie scribes, that would be very unlikely.
“With Rob and Carla’s upbringing, there’s never really been any form of stability or family unit.
“Both characters had so much turmoil, which shaped their adulthood.
“They do desperately want a happy peaceful life, but because of their baggage it will never happen.
“The two up/two down with Tracy would be the dream.”
However, he does tease that over the next few weeks, viewers are in for a bit of turmoil as he and actress Kate Ford, who plays Tracy, try to tell their love story.
“It is doomed;” she says. “It’s a horrible scenario.
“If you’re in love as passionately as they are with each other, and it is genuine, the fact you know it can’t go anywhere – it’s kind of redundant in a way.
“But the feelings don’t stop just because it’s redundant, so that’s the struggle we’ve enjoyed playing.”
Although he says he is still filming scenes now, Marc is keeping his cards close to his chest about whether or not his current return will be his last.
“I can’t say whether he’ll die,” he says. “I can’t say whether it will be possible for them to stay together.
“I would consider staying, of course, if that was on the table.
“I love the character and the show. I would always stay if there was a good story to tell.”
Oooh, we can’t wait to find out. Welcome back Marc!