Corrie star says Emma's reaction 'de-villainises' factitious illness disorder

Curtis Delamere (Sam Retford) doesn’t have a life-threatening heart condition in Coronation Street, but he does have factitious illness disorder.

Last week, the truth about his health was revealed during a trip to the doctors.

As Curtis sat down, he awaited test results from the doctor, but didn’t exactly get what he wanted.

The doctor reminded Curtis that physically, there isn’t a single thing wrong with him, but he’s decided to refer him to a psychologist to talk about his factitious illness disorder.

Meanwhile, girlfriend Emma (Alexandra Mardell) remains unaware of Curtis’ secret.

Happily planning their wedding, Emma still thinks time she has with Curtis is limited because of his heart condition.

Fortunately, Emma won’t remain in the dark for much longer as an incident with young Ruby leads to Curtis at last telling her the truth.

But how does Emma react? Sam Retford recently hinted at what’s to come during a zoom call with Metro.co.uk and other press:

‘I think it’s really difficult. She sits in such an emotionally mature realm within the relationship where she’s allowed to have her own emotional battle about the relationship, her internal turmoil yet know there’s a person there who she loves who she is willing to stand with and help.

‘I think that’s really beautiful and de-villainess his disorder immensely.’

‘He has a huge amount of anxiety with it and his brain automatically goes to the worst’, Sam adds as he discusses that all important moment where Curtis plucks up the courage to tell Emma everything.

‘I think because he’s never built authentic relationships in his life, he thinks the slightest flaw will see someone turn around and think “I’m a monster and I’m going to be tossed to the side”, but what he doesn’t realise is that he’s built an authentic unconditionally relationship with this person who is beautifully willing to turn around and help him on this journey. He reacts with his instinct, it’s not conscious but subconscious to lie his way out of it and try to keep up appearances and grasp on to his safety net.

‘You imagine for 22 years of his life of doing this habit, to let go of something like that in an instant is impossible, but she grasps on to it she sits there, and she says she’ll take his lies keep going, she weathers them, thankfully, and breaks him down to the point where he feels able enough to be honest with her.

‘I think it’s the first time he’s been honest in his entire life so that was a beautiful moment to play with Ali.’

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