Coronation Street is set for a red Christmas this year, as a desperate for revenge Derek Milligan (Craig Els) grabs a gun and goes on a shooting rampage, starting in the Rovers.
He’s angry after loan shark Gary Windass (Mikey North) took him hostage, and gets drunk and wades into the Rovers wielding a gun he found in Gary’s furniture shop.
It’s not yet known who will die, though it has been reported that exiting Coronation Street cast member Tristan Gemmill’s character Robert Preston will be the unlucky target.
However Gary has a lot to lose, as girlfriend Maria Connor (Samia Longchambon) is pregnant with his child, so a gunman being on the lose is not ideal.
Speaking to Daily Star Online and other press at a special Corrie Christmas preview, Mikey North opened up about the dramatic scenes.
He explained: “We’re in the Rovers and he sees Derek’s threatening everyone with a gun and he thinks he’s going to have to try and interrupt this somehow.
“So he goes out and says, ‘Take me, save these. If you want me, come outside and have me.’
“So Gary lures him out of the Rovers, then we venture into Winter Wonderland. A shoot out ensues with the rest of the street – he’s after most people, really.”
The shoot involved plenty of filming into the early hours in the morning, but Mikey confessed it was actually a lot of fun.
He said: “It’s always interesting trying to film at four in the morning and give some semblance of performance without trying to fall asleep, but it was really good fun.
“Craig, who plays Derek, he was an absolute pleasure to work with. He went down really well with all the cast, we’re all very fond of him, and he gives a fantastic performance.
“His drunk acting is second to none. He manages to look absolutely smashed. Maybe he was!”
He went on: “It’s a lot of pressure on each scene you do, but I really enjoyed it.
“It’s fantastic to work with Craig.
“All the guys were on long night shifts, so it’s always quite exciting. You’re in the green room at three in the morning trying to keep each other going, but it’s really good fun. It’s an honour to be given this.”
Meanwhile, Maria has drama of her own when her ex, Dr Ali Neeson (James Burrows), tells her to get rid of Gary’s baby.
Samia said: “Ali goes up to Maria and basically tells her to have an abortion. He says, ‘It’s not too late, you should have an abortion, you shouldn’t be with him.’
“Maria flies off the handle like, ‘I never want to speak to you ever again, how dare you tell me to have an abortion.’
“She just thinks he’s being jealous, she’s sort of ignoring everything he’s telling her about Gary being a bad guy, she thinks it’s all down to jealousy.”
Speaking of Maria’s penchant for a bad guy, Samia went on: “I don’t think Maria will ever have a happy ending.”
She said: “She keeps finding things out about [Gary] then questioning him about it and then, somehow, he talks her round, so she ends up apologising for even questioning him.
“And it’s completely feasible the reasons he’s given her. Each time she goes to him and says, ‘I’ve heard this about you, Ali’s said you’ve got a black book,’ then he’ll explain it and she’s like, ‘I’m sorry I ever doubted you, I’m so stupid.’
“That keeps happening, so all her doubts are moved over by Gary. For the best part of 20 years I’ve wanted to shake her.”
But will Maria survive another 20 years in Weatherfield following the Christmas shoot out?
Coronation Street continues Monday at 7.30pm on ITV