Saturday, 2 December 2017

Tristan Gemmill Interview: Robert's cancer shock

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog November 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Why did Robert not attend his doctor’s appointment?

Robert is refusing to face facts but as time goes on we will see it is to do with his fear of hospitals from the time he watched his father die of cancer.

What is his reaction when Michelle broaches the subject?

Robert just can't handle it, he's terrified that he might go the same way as his father but he is not able to share that with the one person he really probably should share that with and that's Michelle.

At the hospital, Robert admits that he discovered the lump weeks ago. How does Michelle react?

Michelle has been the voice of reason. Testicular cancer is one of the cancers that if you catch it early then you have a better chance of long term survival. In his heart of hearts he knows that.

What happens after Joseph runs into the road?

Robert ends up at the hospital and Michelle uses that time while he is immobilised to get the urologist in. Robert, even though he feels backed into a corner, reluctantly agrees  to an examination. The doctor says there is definitely something there which he needs to check out  so he recommends that Robert to gets a scan immediately.

The urologist breaks the news to Robert that the lump is most likely malignant and that they’ll have to remove his testis. What’s Robert’s first thoughts when he is told he needs an operation as soon as possible?

Robert feels that everything is getting out of his control and that is an important aspect for Robert - he likes to be in control of stuff.  He basically says, “thank you for making me aware of it, I’ll think about it,” but he just wants to get out the door.

Why does he hide this from Michelle?

Robert doesn't know how to deal with this, he watched his father die of cancer.

How do you think Robert would react to find out that it was cancer?

That’s Robert’s Room 101, that's his worst fear. Everything he has fought to be, for example with the business, and who he has fought to be with, Michelle - the thought of everything to be taken away in the same way he watched his dad go. He is terrified to the point of being frozen with fear and that's why he won't talk to anyone or do anything about it.

Later, in an attempt to forget his illness Robert heads to the casino. What happens next?

The pressure has got to him and he makes some poor decisions. He’ trying to pretend nothing is wrong but he can’t stop.

What was your first reaction when you were told about this story?

There is a fair amount of responsibility depicting something that is sadly quite common and I wanted to portray it in the most realistic way as possible. I hope to do it justice. If we can contribute to getting the message out there that if you find these things early, you can do something about it then I think we can do some good.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

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