Cor­rie’s Todd and Billy adopt COVER stars

Daniel Brock­le­bank and Bruno Lan­g­ley – bet­ter known as Cor­rie cou­ple Billy and Todd – on mak­ing soap his­tory as they be­come par­ents to school­girl sum­mer

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It’s a case of two men and a lit­tle lady in Coro­na­tion Street this week, when Billy and Todd be­come the le­gal guardians of Sum­mer Spell­man – the daugh­ter of the vicar’s late ex-boyfriend, Drew. It’s a big com­mit­ment for the pair and a defin­ing mo­ment in Cor­rie his­tory – the char­ac­ters are the first same­sex cou­ple on the show to raise a child to­gether.

Stars Daniel Brock­le­bank and Bruno Lan­g­ley share their thoughts on the jour­ney ahead, and re­veal how tal­ented young­ster Matilda Free­man, who plays Sum­mer, is keep­ing them on their toes…

How do Billy and Todd feel about look­ing af­ter Sum­mer? Daniel: I don’t think Billy is un­der any delu­sions that they’re adopt­ing a griev­ing 12-year-old and, with his train­ing, he’ll have had ex­pe­ri­ence with things like that. I think he likes the idea of be­ing a dad and hav­ing a fam­ily. Bruno: Todd can see that Sum­mer has a spark. She’s quick and smart, and prob­a­bly re­minds him of him­self a lit­tle. And when her ho­mo­pho­bic nan, Geral­dine, turned up and said: ‘You’re not go­ing to raise this girl’, he wasn’t go­ing to let her get one up on him!

Given that Sum­mer is an ado­les­cent, can you fore­see plenty of drama ahead? Daniel: I can imag­ine Billy des­per­ately try­ing to read the back of a Tam­pax box and work­ing out how he’s go­ing to have that con­ver­sa­tion with her! But I sup­pose it’s like that for any par­ent – it’s all trial and er­ror. Bruno: There’s a scene where Tracy says to Todd: ‘You’ve got no idea of what’s go­ing to hap­pen!’ But

I reckon there’s a lot of scope for com­edy in that. Billy and Todd are the first same­sex cou­ple in Cor­rie to raise a child. How do you feel about that? Daniel: I’m thrilled, and to have this ex­tra layer brought into Billy and Todd’s re­la­tion­ship is great. I would’ve loved to have been a dad, so if this is the clos­est I ever get to it, then that’s bril­liant.

Bruno: It’s an­other bit of Cor­rie his­tory. The show has been mov­ing with the times since the very be­gin­ning, and it’s just re­flect­ing what’s hap­pen­ing in real life.

Daniel, do you have any nieces, neph­ews or god­chil­dren? And if so, how has that helped you with the role?

I have a niece who was born in March, a nephew who’s four, and three god­daugh­ters. I get to fill them up with sugar and then give them back to their par­ents! I sup­pose it’s all about pa­tience, love and un­der­stand­ing – and these are Chris­tian val­ues that Billy would be dish­ing out on a daily ba­sis, along with the Coco Pops.

Bruno, as a fa­ther in real life to 10-year-old Fred­die, what would your ad­vice be to Todd? Prob­a­bly to en­joy the small mo­ments, as they grow up so fast.

How do you think the other res­i­dents will re­act to Billy and Todd be­ing par­ents?

Daniel: Of course, there will be some ruf­fled feath­ers

– surely that’s the point, and I’m sure there’ll be many a whim­si­cal quip com­ing out of Nor­ris’s mouth! Bruno: I don’t think there are go­ing to be any char­ac­ters com­plain­ing. I can’t imag­ine a scene where some­one’s dis­gusted with the fact that they’re rais­ing a kid to­gether.

Do you think the pres­sures of hav­ing a child might cause cracks in Billy and Todd’s re­la­tion­ship? Daniel: It will change the dy­namic of their re­la­tion­ship, but could bring them closer to­gether. I hope they’ll be able to cope with ev­ery­thing that’s thrown at them. Bruno: It re­ally de­pends on what the writ­ers want to ex­plore. I know they have got plans to elab­o­rate on

Billy’s back story.

Todd has a rather che­quered past – Bruno, do you think that now he is a fa­ther, his dark days are over? The co­nun­drum is that, in order to adopt Sum­mer, Todd has rented a flat, but if he doesn’t have a good job, he can’t pay for it, and so he’s gone into busi­ness with Adam Bar­low. I would imag­ine that there are go­ing to be times when his morals will be called into

ques­tion again.

Do you think they will have dif­fer­ent ideas on par­ent­ing? Daniel: I think they’re go­ing to come at things from dif­fer­ent an­gles. Todd is much more play­ful and mis­chievous than Billy, who tends to do things by the book; whereas Todd tends to fly by the seat of his pants a bit more.

Bruno: Yeah, I think Todd will be too le­nient – just like me in real life!

What is it like to work with Matilda Free­man, who plays Sum­mer? Daniel: I did screen tests with five dif­fer­ent ac­tresses and I knew im­me­di­ately that she was the one. With a lot of child ac­tors, you have to drive the scene your­self, but with Matilda you can throw stuff at her and she runs with it. She has set­tled in re­mark­ably quickly. I had 20 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try be­fore I joined Cor­rie and I was com­pletely pet­ri­fied on my first day, but she was as cool as a cu­cum­ber. Bruno: When I first started work­ing pro­fes­sion­ally at the age of 17, I was ab­so­lutely ter­ri­ble, and ner­vous all the time. But Matilda just walked on set and did it. She said to the di­rec­tor dur­ing one scene: ‘Do you want me to cry on this take?’ And I looked at Dan and I was like: ‘Wow, she is good! This girl is re­ally go­ing to show us up!’

Now that Billy and Todd are par­ents, would you like them to seal the deal and get mar­ried? Daniel: I’d love them to get mar­ried, be­cause I’m a hopeless ro­man­tic! I also think it would be an in­ter­est­ing is­sue to high­light with the Church of Eng­land, be­cause, if a gay vicar got mar­ried, he’d get fired.

Bruno: That would be an­other bit of his­tory for the show, so I as­sume that’s prob­a­bly on the cards at some point in the fu­ture. Get­ting mar­ried abroad would be a good idea. How about the South of France?

Cruel sum­mer: Granny Geral­dine tries to halt Billy and Todd’s plans

Fam­ily ties: Bruno with his son, Fred­die

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