It's been a rollercoaster of a year for troubled Summer Spellman and it sounds as though 2023 may deal her a few more blows before she is finally helped back on track with her life. With her diabetes diagnosis and battle with bulimia, things haven't been easy for the Coronation Street character.
And her relationship with Aaron Sanford hasn't been an easy one either due to his loyalties to his alcoholic dad. As fans of the ITV soap already know, the teen recently suffered a miscarriage but kept the loss from couple Mike and Esther who had already arranged to buy the baby from her and her boyfriend Aaron.
After Summer, played by Harriet Bibby, spoke to Aaron about whether they should continue with the pregnancy and have their baby, it was decided that she would have an abortion. However, Esther and Mike, the parishioners of Summer's guardian Billy Mayhew, stepped in and said they wanted to adopt her baby - and handed over £10,000 to them.
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Desperate for the money to send Aaron's dad, Eric, to rehab, the pair accepted and Summer was keeping her pregnancy a secret from Billy as well as her other 'two dads' Paul Foreman and Todd Grimshaw. But in scenes at the end of last month, Summer and Aaron discovered alcoholic Eric had been drinking again but as they rushed to his aid, Summer discovered she was bleeding and was devastated to discover she’s suffered a miscarriage.
But in order to get more cash for Eric to return to rehab, Summer and Aaron continued to lie to Mike and Esther about still being pregnant. Despite planning on telling the couple the truth, Summer and Aaron backed out upon discovering Esther's mum had died. However, they were backed into a corner when Mike paid them a visit and he discovered the truth.
Mike threatened to go to the police but Aaron reminded them that buying a baby wasn't legal either so he would land himself and his wife Esther in trouble too. Summer promised to pay the couple back but they had another solution. They suggested Summer still be their surrogate but this time, the baby would be Mike's.
Since then, however, Summer did a runner from the street after falling out with Aaron and Billy. But viewers have since seen her end up at Esther and Mike's where she has agreed to speak to the couple's solicitor about the surrogacy. However, when Billy tracked her down, she was forced into talking to him.
It's already been revealed that Summer will face a dangerous problem when a shocking secret is exposed about Mike. When Summer announces that she’s got an appointment at the fertility clinic and Billy assures her that he won’t stand in her way this time. But her other dads Todd and Paul are determined to find out more about Mike and Esther. Paul suggests to Todd that the best plan of action might be to raise the money to pay Mike and Esther off in the hope they’ll leave Summer alone.
Having taken Summer for her blood test, Mike and Esther drop her off at home. Leanne clocks Mike and realises he’s the drunken man who flirted with her in the bistro. She tells Billy who is deeply concerned and feels she needs to know the truth. Then Summer is shocked when Todd tells her he has been contacted by Ava, a member of the congregation at Mike and Esther’s old church, claiming she had an affair with Mike.
Summer decides to confront Esther who confirms it is true but says they have agreed to put it behind them. Summer decides to meet up with Ava but is shocked by what she discovers. Furious, she heads over to Esther and Mike’s but she's horrified when Mike locks her in the nursery without her bag containing her phone and insulin.
And according to Corrie boss Iain MacLeod, the storyline is "going to end badly for some of them." Talking to the Manchester Evening News about what's to come for the teen in 2023, the soap's producer went on: "For summer, we realised this year that for a very intelligent woman, she’s made a series of incredibly bad decisions over the course of the year and she’ll continue to make a couple more over the course of this [year].
"It’s all driven by the fact she feels horrifically guilty for some of the lies she’s told to Esther and Mike and in an effort to make amends for some of that, she allows herself to turn a blind eye to some of the red flags in Mike and Esther’s relationship and in the story generally and she finds herself in a certain degree of mortal danger by the end of it all as a result of her determination to do right by them and make up for the lies she’s told them."
He added: "It’s quite exciting. Really, it’s in there to tell a story about that family group. In the end, it’s her three dads who save her from oblivion and bring her back to normality and reconnect her with who she was. So it has a nice, heartwarming after taste but oddly enough, considering how crazy the plan she is enacting, the scenes are really those stories where however outsized the storyline might seem, all the performances and all the decisions they are making, I feel, are very motivated so you find yourself in this really heightened denouement but by the end of it all, you’re just breaking your heart for this young woman who has got so lost.”
But Summer isn't the only young Weatherfield resident who is set to be embroiled in drama this year. They were dubbed the ‘Brat Pack’ last year as the horrific hate crime storyline got underway but Iain says he’ll ‘never forget’ the magazine cover photo which saw the group of young cast members who led one of the soap’s most shocking and heartbreaking stories.
Despite some of the ‘pack’ having now left the soap, including new Doctor Who star Millie Gibson, a huge new storyline is set to emerge for those remaining. "It is very relatable, very teenage,” Iain said. “We’re hoping it will be one of those Corrie stories that will shock people a bit and provoke some awkward conversations in front of the television.
"I think this storyline will encourage conversations you wouldn’t usually have in that cross-generational way but I’m really pleased with it and we’re working with a couple of charities to make sure we get the detail right and fundamentally, it’s just about those brilliant young actors being the superstars they are."
He added: "Much like the Seb/Nina story which was about an assault on a teenager, it drew in Roy, it drew in Abi, and drew in a whole cross-generational group of characters and the best stories in my opinion are the ones that do that. And this is exactly one of those. It’s huge for the people directly involved but also their parents, loved ones, families and extended friendship groups. The ripples spread out across the whole show."
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