Coronation Street’s Richard Hawley has said his character Johnny Connor would be at risk of suicide, just like son Aidan, if he goes to prison.
Last night Corrie viewers saw him take the rap for wife Jenny as Liz McDonald fought for her life after being mown down.
The Christmas Day special of the long-running soap saw Jenny – played by Sally Ann Matthews – get behind the wheel while under the influence.
“Johnny wouldn’t cope well in prison, not from what he says. He’s not designed for prison. It would be really difficult. You’d sit there with all that stuff in your head. He says he couldn’t cope and says he ‘would do what happened to Aidan’.
The incident on Christmas Day brought tensions between Jenny and Johnny to a head after he admitted having an affair with Liz McDonald months ago.
Viewers had already seen Jenny struggling to cope, first signing Liz up to an escorting website, and stalking Johnny and Liz via a phone app.
Despite the troubles, Richard is hopeful the marriage still has a future.
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He said: “I think they can save their marriage. They’ll save it because they want to work hard on it.
“The question is what are you saving?
“Are you saving something that’s honest or are you saving some unresolved stuff to be dealt with?
“What’s happening is it’s all coming out and we know where we are with it so we’re saving something that’s less burdened than before.”
Richard does not think guilt over the affair is the reason why he took the rap, instead saying Johnny is a “hero”.
He said: “He (Johnny) doesn’t really know what’s going on with Jenny but he’s apologised a million times and he just wants it all to be good and tight and start again.”
Despite the dalliance with Liz – played by Coronation Street veteran Beverley Callard – threatening to torpedo his marriage to Jenny, Johnny still has a soft spot for her.
But Richard said a reunion between the pair would be unlikely as she is a “woman scorned”.
He added: “She’s got a lot of reasons to hate Johnny. I don’t think him getting the benefit of her letting him off would change his feelings for Liz because he’s deeply fond of her.
“They’re friends but it’s all gone wrong. There is no chance for them getting together at the moment.”
Coronation Street continues on ITV.
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