Pat Phelan, played by Connor McIntyre is an exceptionally effective villain, one of the best to walk the cobbles. He has just the right mix of menace and credibility. There was Jez Quigley too who had the same ability to appear like a good, misunderstood guy. Tony Gordon was similar in that skill too but Richard Hillman was perhaps the real king of the villains. Nevertheless, Phelan sends a shudder down the spine.
Viewers will remember the entanglement with Owen, Gary and Anna and how Phelan cheated them even after Anna had gone through with the whole sleep with Phelan plan to help the family coffers. We might have guessed that he would not keep his promise. Just to annoy further the Armstrong/Windass clan, Phelan sent them a postcard from Dubai.
On his return to the cobbles, he seemed down on his luck. Valerie had seen the real Pat Phelan and divorced him. She had all his assets too, apparently, though a man as keen on the good things in life as he is, it seems odd that he would have allowed this state of affairs. For the sake of the storyline we will have to accept this.
Then. what was this? Heroic Phelan - the man who stepped out in front of the getaway car after the bungled bistro burglary. It was Kevin, his new boss, who dragged him away from the car. Anna went over to see how Kevin was only to be stunned by the sight of Phelan. His presence caused many a problem between Anna and Kevin. As yet, Anna has not revealed to Kevin what happened between her and Phelan. But she will. This is soap world and all must out.
Phelan's skill is to appear as one of the nicest imaginable chaps you could ever meet. Good fun, easy-going, loyal and decent. He is able to disguise his real feelings when he needs to do so, as he proves in tonight's episodes.
Andy is instructed by Michael concerning Phelan, not to be 'fooled by his affable charm.' Michael tells him to keep an eye on Phelan. Andy overhears Phelan on the phone, clearly haggling over a price. Andy realises that it is the chisels Phelan had admired and called 'beauties'. He reports to his 'dad' and Michael confronts him in the builders yard. Suddenly, Michael grips his chest and tumbles down the stairs. Phelan's true colours are here exposed and he seems almost pleased, or at least amused by Michael's misfortune. He's sorry he didn't have his camera with him. He does nothing to help him but the moment Jason arrives Phelan's voice and attitude change completely. He's all call the ambulance and concerned expressions.
At the hospital Michael tells Phelan that he's not wanted and Eileen cannot understand Michael's antagonism. After all, this is the man who fixed her kitchen cupboards. Michael is agitated and the doctor has to tell him that he 'must avoid any undue agitation'. Phelan is on top of things though and when questioned, Phelan claims that he was talking to a mate who would polish and sharpen Charlie Stubbs' chisels. So, he was doing a favour for a mate. What a great bloke!
On leaving Michael at the hospital Eileen reveals that Phelan is giving her a lift home. 'Don't you worry Michael,' crows Phelan, 'I'll take good care of her.' Michael's heart cannot be helped by this.
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
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