Coronation Street killer Tracy Barlow is back - and she is "worse and nastier" than ever before, actress Kate Ford revealed.
The twisted murderess, who is currently imprisoned for bumping off boyfriend Charlie Stubbs, returns to the show after being freed for a day to attend the funeral of her grandmother Blanche Hunt (Maggie Jones).
Once back behind bars, she strikes a deal with police to get early release in exchange for helping to convict fellow jailbird Gail McIntyre (Helen Worth), who is awaiting trial for murdering her husband Joe.
Ford, who has returned to the soap after three years, said of her alter ego: "She's got worse, nastier, if that's possible.
"If you're surrounded with people who are similar to you, you have to toughen up and Tracy's not really a tough person.
"She's manipulative and a bit messed up but not a fighter. It's made her a bit more cagey and bitter."
Soap bosses spent a year trying to secure Ford's return to the soap following the birth of her son Otis, now two.
Although it was always her intention to go back, she admitted losing confidence about acting again after concentrating on motherhood, but is now thrilled to in the role again.
"I love it more than I expected to, which sounds weird because I didn't not expect to love it, but it felt fresh. It just felt like a new job in a way."