"I'm glad Kylie has come to a dead end in Corrie"
Six years after making her Street debut, Paula Lane bids farewell to the soap in dramatic fashion. She tells Susan Griffin about the 'epic' storyline ... and why she couldn't be happier about being killed off
It's no secret that Corrie's Kylie Platt is going to be killed off, but exactly how she meets her demise is being kept strictly under wraps. Rest assured, it's going to be shocking, however.
"I'm not just saying this because I'm involved, but I don't think I've ever read an ending like it," reveals actress Paula Lane (30), who's played Kylie for six years since joining the soap in 2010.
"A lot of the cast who aren't actually involved have also read it and said it's something else. I think the audience is going to get a real sense of shock and surprise at how sudden the death is."
The shock death's set to happen next Friday, July 15, just as Kylie and husband David are about to head to Barbados, in a bid to make a fresh start and leave their woes behind them.
It's now 10 months since Kylie killed her ex Callum, to prevent him harming David's sister Sarah. The trio then buried him beneath Gail's annexe flat.
Now the body's been discovered, Sarah's suffered a mental breakdown, while Tony, who was known to have had a grudge against Callum, is being blamed for the murder. And, given his death was announced to street residents only a few weeks ago, he won't be able to defend himself.
"Kylie struggles with the fact an innocent man's name has been trashed, but David's all right with that and says, 'we've won'. So there's the guilt factor, then you have Max [Kylie and Callum's son] dealing with his grief, and Gail decides she doesn't want to be in the annexe any more so it falls on Kylie and David to then take that room," explains Lane.
"Kylie tries to make it her own by buying all these fluffy cushions and revamping it, but it doesn't feel right."
Overwhelmed, Kylie eventually suggests they head to pastures new and leave this sorry business far behind them.
"You really see the old Kylie and David come back together, all that excitement, young, free and easy. That was lovely to play, but all the crew behind me were going, 'err ...' because they know what's coming," says the actress. "We're building the audience up to crash them down."
Lane, who also runs a children's drama school in Hebden Bridge, where she lives with her husband Tom and their 18-month-old son Arthur, says she made no secret of the fact she never saw herself staying in Coronation Street long-term.
"I was only contracted for six months, which spanned into a year, then three, and ended up being six. That seems to be a good solid time frame to create a character, let them develop and make an impact, but not be typecast. I was very conscious of that," she adds.
Her mum might be devastated by her daughter's departure, but Lane, who describes herself as "an old soul", admits she couldn't be happier with the storyline - despite the fact it means there's no chance of ever returning to Weatherfield.
"Of course, it would have been nice to have the door left open, but I hope I can go on to do other things," she says.
Recalling how she found out her character was set to be killed off, Lane adds: "There was a series of meetings, and then Kieran [Roberts, a creative director for ITV] sat down and told me, but went on to explain how and why."
She says she was "sold" on the idea, and thought the storyline was "epic".
"You don't get to have that kind of exit every day and people will really remember it, so I'm chuffed to pieces. I want to leave the audience wanting more."
Unlike many before her, she isn't interested in taking mementoes from set.
"I think it's got to be clean break, I have to put her in a box - literally," she says with a laugh. "I think that's the healthiest option."
The actress hopes the soap will prove "a great springboard", as it has for the likes of Suranne Jones, Katherine Kelly and Michelle Keegan, but before she starts auditioning for new projects, Lane's all set to welcome baby number two, a daughter, later this month.
"Everything's already in baby mode so we've hardly had to do anything, to be honest. There's more pink and I have to admit, Arthur's wardrobe is shrinking by the day."
She's been doing hypnotherapy birthing classes in preparation.
"I've got a lady who's giving me a private course this time. It can be for a completely natural birth, but there's also scope if you have to have a section for instance, or if things don't go to plan," adds Lane, who's planning to enjoy more maternity leave this time round (she returned to work 11 weeks after having Arthur).
"Of course, it would be nice to have six months, and then an amazing job comes up and all will be well, but we'll wait and see.
"I am a big believer in fate. I am also mindful not to jump at the first thing. It's got to be something very different from Corrie, but that stretches me at the same time."
While she won't miss the numerous costume changes, early starts or the commute, "I will miss the people and the buzz on set when a take goes well".
"We have so little time to shoot the scenes, when it just works, you go, 'wow!' and it feels great that you've managed to achieve it."
As she reflects on her time in the soap, she admits the live episode in September last year stands out as a highlight.
"That was epic. I have never felt exhaustion like it! I took a picture after it, when I'd taken all my make-up off, and I look horrific.
"The pace here really stretches you and I've really had to dig deep at times to get through it."
Coronation Street, ITV, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 7.30pm