The Interview: SCHEMING LEANNE'S BEEN A COMPLETE COW TO MIKE; CORRIE JANE TELLS HOW THE STREET'S GOLD-DIGGER GETS HER JUST DESERTS
Byline: By LAURA DAVIDSON
It takes a lot to leave loud-mouthed Leanne Battersby speechless - but when she's kept in the dark this week about Coronation Street's biggest departure in a decade, the mouthy Manc is gobsmacked.
She's been grudgingly caring for poor Mike Baldwin through his Alzheimer's hell - hoping to get her hands on his cash - and reckoned she'd be first to know when the he finally bit the bullet.
After weeks of build-up to Corrie veteran Johnny Briggs' big exit, iron Mike finally headed for the big knicker factory in the sky on Friday. But gold-digger Leanne finds out LAST.
Jane Danson, 27, who plays the Battersby battler, said: "Leanne was at home waiting for Mike but he never returned and she only finds out much later on that he's died.
"By the time news reaches her, everyone in Weatherfield is talking about it.
"She genuinely feels snubbed because no one thought to tell her. Although, to be honest, she's got absolutely no right to feel that with the way she's been carrying on."
Jane reckons it's been difficult to find any redeeming features in Leanne lately. First, she broke poor Jamie's (Rupert Hill) heart by sleeping with his dad - Mike Baldwin's wheeler-dealer son Danny (Bradley Walsh).
With pound signs flickering in her eyes, she kept pursuing the middle-aged wide-boy until he finally dumped wife Frankie (Debra Stephenson) so he and Leanne could be an item.
As if that hadn't caused enough of a rift in the Baldwin family, when poor Mike was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, scheming Leanne sank her hooks into Danny even further - spurred on by the thought of his whopping inheritance.
Jane added: "Leanne's been a complete cow. Money has taken over her whole life and she's obsessed with making sure that Mike signs everything over to Danny.
"She's tasted that sort of lifestyle and she's hooked. She's been in the position where she's been down in the dumps before - she's a Battersby, after all, so she doesn't come from money - and for her, this is like winning the lottery. It's now a case of how far will she go."
If there was a line to cross, Leanne skipped over it when she took advantage of confused Mike and accepted his offer of a shopping trip, racking up hundreds of pounds on his credit card.
But there's a spanner in the works of her get-rich-quick plan - Mike's second will leaves the majority of his cash to teenage son Adam.
Corrie legend Mike will be given a send-off to remember this week, with the Cockney's coffin carried through Weatherfield in a traditional black horse-drawn carriage.
Leanne will no doubt shed crocodile tears - but the floodgates open for real soon enough with more troubles ahead.
In real life, Jane has revealed she's pregnant, and Corrie bosses have promised an explosive exit when the actress goes off on maternity leave.
She said: "I'm not sure if the pregnancy will be written into the show but let's just say that although Leanne will be away for a while, she'll definitely be back. I've got a feeling there will be unfinished business to deal with."
Jane's married to a man she used to swoon over as a teenager - Robert Beck, 35, who played hunky Peter Harrison in Brookside when Jane was at school. …