He’s been so convincing as one of soap’s scariest ever characters – Pat Phelan – it was almost a shoe-in that actor Connor McIntyre would scoop the Best Bad Boy gong at last night’s Inside Soap Awards.
In fact, the recent scenes involving Phelan’s kidnapping plot have been so scary that many viewers have criticised the ITV soap for screening them before the watershed.
But, clutching his award at the posh London bash, Connor answered those critics, insisting that Phelan’s behaviour makes for great telly – and the Corrie team know where to draw the line.
The Liverpudlian actor, who also took the Best Bad Boy accolade in 2016, told OK! magazine: “I respect anyone complaining, but if you’re pushing the edge of anything, you’re going to get responses.
“My sense is that [the viewers] were taken by surprise [by] the intensity of the drama.”
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But Connor was quick to point out that Corrie boss Kate Oates and the show’s writers carefully consider what’s appropriate and what’s not.
He explained: “Kate and the team went to great lengths to ensure we were not crossing the well-established boundaries.”
Corrie has delivered some truly dark drama in recent months. Another of the show’s big storylines – the Bethany Platt grooming saga – was also rewarded at the Inside Soap Awards, with Bethany actress Lucy Fallon scooping the Best Actress gong.
However, it was Corrie’s ITV rival Emmerdale that enjoyed the most success at the glitzy do.
The Yorkshire-based soap picked up seven awards, compared with five for Corrie, two for Casualty and just one each for EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Doctors.
Emmerdale took the biggest prize of the night – Best Soap – while Danny Miller was named Best Actor for his portrayal of Aaron Dingle.
Corrie fans were quick to express their disapproval over the kidnapping plot – which saw Phelan abduct Andy Carver and Vinny Ashford, before both men were shot dead.
One tweeted: “Tonight’s episode is far too dark and violent for pre-watershed.”
And another concurred: “This is actually too much. It’s a soap, not The Wire or something. This plot is disgusting and way too dark.”
But Connor hinted that the grisly action might not be over yet. He told The Mirror: “The journey towards [Phelan’s] comeuppance will be very lively, I’m sure, because now he has a direct root to solving problems.”
You have been warned!