We’ll see if Mandy and Steve resist a romantic reunion…
Mixing business with pleasure didn’t go so well for Ackley Bridge headmistress Mandy Carter and her PE teacher husband Steve Bell, as last series their marriage was left in tatters after they were both unfaithful. But now, they seem to be getting closer again.
‘There’s such a physical attraction and an emotional connection between them, they can’t seem to keep away from each other,’ says former EastEnders star Paul Nicholls, who plays Steve.
This week, Steve tries to help troubled pupil Cory Wilson and invites a rugby scout to watch him play. But when tensions run high, he and Cory’s violent dad, Kevin, come to blows.
‘Steve has got real empathy for both
Cory and his brother Jordan,’ says Paul.
‘He just wants to steer them on a good path.’
Mandy is touched by Steve’s attempts to help Cory and encourages her ex to apply for the new deputy head role. Then, as the pair bond again, it seems like a reunion is on the cards.
One thing that could throw a spanner in the works is Steve’s feisty ex, Claire Butterworth, played by Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh. She caused trouble earlier in the series, and is set to return to Ackley Bridge. ‘Kimberley was lovely,’ says Paul. ‘It can be daunting to join a series, but she was brilliant.’
Learning curve… Steve looks out for troubled Cory (right)