It was one of the most secret pregnancies in soap land as mum-to-be Abi Franklin didn’t even know she was expecting.
Coronation Street fans were stunned on Sunday night when the already mum-of-three was left doubled over in a pain at the side of the road after being left there by drug dealer Dean.
Viewers had seen Abi struggling as she claimed to be in agony with her back but after going on a drug and booze bender with Dean at No.13, her new mate nicked the keys to Kevin Webster’s garage and got away with a customer’s car.
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Abi gave chase and tried to get the keys off Dean but ended up zooming off the cobbles with him before later being stranded on a country lane alone, in pain – and having a baby.
Corrie fans couldn’t believe what they were hearing as she tried to phone an ambulance, telling the operator she was in labor before her phone ran out of charge.
Viewers will see Abi, not knowing she is six months pregnant, giving birth to a baby boy this week with the dad being Imran Habeeb who she had a one-night stand with last year after her son Seb’s murder trial.
At the time, Imran was at a loss as his client, and former foster daughter, Kelly Neelan was charged with the builder’s murder when Corey Brent got off and walked free from court despite being the one who dealt the fatal blows on Seb.
It wasn’t until later, and the arrival of Stu Carpenter, that Corey got his comeuppance and Kelly was able to be released.
Speaking to press about the latest twist in her character’s life, Sally Carman said the scenes with her character’s newborn were pretty emotional to film.
Explaining how they used a prosthetic baby for filming, the actress said: “They are so real, and they breathe. They’ve got a little pup, and that was something else because they are so tiny – smaller than a little chicken.
“The monologues I’ve got where I’m speaking to the baby, it was really hard to do them without crying, because you’re just like, ‘Oh my goodness, babies exist at this size and they’re so vulnerable’ .”
But it wasn’t all emotional as Sally revealed that the prosthetic baby has a couple of doppelgangers.
“The one we’ve got looks exactly like Chris Lilley, the Australian comedy guy. It’s the spit of Chris Lilley, so I was just in hysterics for the first hour, like, ‘I can’t do this,'” the soap star revealed.
“And then the baby’s got black hair – quite a lot of hair – so it then morphed into Paul McCartney? So I was just on my own little tangent!”
There will also be a nod to Abi’s late son when it comes to her new baby boy.
“She calls him Alfie, after Seb’s favorite teddy bear,” Sally revealed.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.