Coronation Street viewers were reeling this week when it was revealed that Spider Nugent is working undercover for the police. The character, played by Martin Hancock, recently returned to Weatherfield decades after he left with then-girlfriend Toyah Battersby. Their relationship didn't last and Spider headed off to Peru.
However, following the death of her new husband Imran Habeeb, Toyah has found herself back in Spider's arms as he showed her support and offered her comfort as she faces trial for murder. Toyah, played by Georgia Taylor, had been left furious with her former flame when he revealed he was married.
But during the latest trip to Weatherfield on Monday (September 12), he told her his marriage was over and as they kissed on the balcony, agreeing to keep their relationship under wraps until after Toyah's murder trial, Imran's furious mum Saira was seen staring up at them.
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She was then seen telling DS Swain about Toyah's new relationship and when she asked for names, she told her that she didn't have his real name but that he's known as Spider. DS Swain's demeanour quickly changed and later, she was seen confronting Spider and he was asked for information on Toyah.
Following the shock scenes, Martin has been spotted filming scenes as activist Spider. The pictures appeared to show a violent brawl which sees Peter Barlow clashing with his protestor pals. It comes after Corrie fans 'worked out' that it isn't actually Toyah who Spider is trying to glean information on.
Some viewers of the ITV soap believe that it could be his pal Griff who he is keeping a watchful eye on after the newcomer caused chaos on the cobbles when he took things too far during a protest outside Carla Connor's Underworld factory.
In a set of first-look Corrie photos, the scenes, filmed at Hulme at the Niamos Radical Arts & Centre just a couple of week ago, appear to show Peter, played by Chris Gascoyne, lashing out at one of Spider's friends, pushing him to the ground after the group begins to confront him.
Spider is seen nervously in the background as the Coronation Street resident as he appears angered by the group of men. But it appears to be in vain as Peter retaliates by pushing one of the blokes to the ground, leading to more violence among the group.
One of the men appeared to get hold of a brick and threatens to throw it at Peter, but Spider intervenes, holding his neighbour back, clearly risking his position in the force which remains unknown to the people of Weatherfield. And while Peter may have been angry, Chris, who has played him for 22 years, smiled and laughed between takes.
Martin, who plays Spider, has recently teased that Toyah wasn’t exactly the reason he came back to Weatherfield, particularly now he’s rekindling his old feelings for his former girlfriend. "It’s very difficult for him,” the soap star said. "The one person in the world he really doesn’t want to mislead or hurt in the world is Toyah.
"The truth of the matter is, he absolutely adores her but he’s also got his work to get on with but it’s difficult and it’s a fine line it’s treading." He then added when asked how hard he is being pushed by the no-nonsense DS Swain: "It’s really tough, she really turns the screw on Spider and places him in an almost impossible position and the cliffhanger is, does he crumble or does he not?"
And speaking about whether he was surprised by Spider’s big secret, Martin appeared to reveal there is much more toc some that will explain Spider's change of career. "It’s a strange one because there comes a point where you think, can I get more done inside the system?" the soap star said.
"I did wonder what the backstory and I can’t give it all away but there’s quite a powerful backstory as to why Spider joins the police and in my mind, it works even though he’s had a few run-ins himself. He hasn’t exactly been an angel."
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