‘Coronation Street’: Spider’s web of lies is a triumph for the soap

·3-min read
FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before Tuesday 30th August 2022

Coronation Street - 1073940

Friday 9th September 2022

Spider Nugent [MARTIN HANCOCK] begs Toyah Battersby [GEORGIA TAYLOR] to cut ties with Griff, revealing he’s in love with her and his marriage is over. As they kiss on the balcony, agreeing to keep their relationship under wraps until after the trial, a furious Saira [KIM VITHANA] stares up at them. 

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Spider's secret has been revealed in Coronation Street. (ITV)

Ever since Geoffrey ‘Spider’ Nugent (Martin Hancock) returned to the Coronation Street cobbles earlier this year, it’s been clear to viewers that he’s hiding a big secret from ex-girlfriend Toyah Habeeb (Georgia Taylor).

Now we’ve finally heard the truth: Spider is an undercover police officer.

It’s always a win for a soap when a bombshell creates genuine shock; and the idea of strong-willed, rebellious activist Spider being a detective certainly wasn’t on our list of guesses.

There was a brief red herring when he rejected Toyah’s advances by revealing that he was married; but of course, something like that wasn’t going to create the kind of high stakes drama that Corrie thrives on.

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before Tuesday 21st June 2022

Coronation Street - Ep 107980

Friday 1st July 2022

Leanne Battersby [JANE DANSON], Mary Taylor [PATTI CLARE], Brian Packham [PETER GUNN], Nina and Asha Alahan [TANISHA GOREY] join Toyah Batterbsy [GEORGIA TAYLOR] and the gang of seasoned protestors she’s mobilised, and successfully block in the council bin wagon on Victoria Street. Toyah leaps into the cab of the bin wagon much to Leanne’s dismay. A man picks his way through the protest group and clambers into the cab next to her.  Toyah’s gobsmacked to see it’s her ex-boyfriend, Spider Nugent [MARTIN HANCOCK].  

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Toyah was stunned to see her ex again. (ITV)

After a screen break of 19 years, actor Hancock’s comeback was first sparked when his co-star Taylor shared a throwback photo of the pair. Instead of bringing Spider back simply as a fond reminder of Toyah’s past — though he undoubtedly is — the show hit upon a narrative that makes his presence much more relevant.

Read more: Who is Spider as he returns to Coronation Street?

Initially, it seemed that Spider was back as an extension to Toyah’s storyline: she's about to stand trial for the murder of husband Imran (Charlie de Melo). But this is not the case, as there’s plenty of room to explore Spider too.

The scenes between Spider and Toyah have been engaging and enjoyable to watch, and Hancock has been given his own chance to shine. Ahead of that gripping revelation about Spider, we saw him admit to Toyah that she had always been the one for him. One minute, he was at the centre of a heartwarming declaration; the next he faced the toughest of ultimatums.

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before Tuesday 30th August 2022

Coronation Street - 1073940

Friday 9th September 2022

Spider Nugent [MARTIN HANCOCK] begs Toyah Battersby [GEORGIA TAYLOR] to cut ties with Griff, revealing he’s in love with her and his marriage is over. As they kiss on the balcony, agreeing to keep their relationship under wraps until after the trial, a furious Saira [KIM VITHANA] stares up at them. 

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Spider still loves Toyah - but she is unaware that he is an undercover police officer. (ITV)

The case that Spider is working on isn’t actually linked to Toyah; but now that DS Swain (Vicky Myers) is aware of their connection, she has demanded his help in securing Toyah’s conviction. If he refuses, he could lose everything - and despite his lies, it couldn’t be more obvious that Spider adores Toyah.

Read more: Coronation Street: Toyah admits killing Imran

This is where those high stakes come in, as Toyah’s freedom hangs in the balance after she makes a shocking confession to Spider in upcoming scenes. But while Toyah’s fate is a crucial element here, we’re set to see how her situation affects Spider’s life.

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before Tuesday 30th August 2022

Coronation Street - 1073536

Monday 5th September 2022

With the protest underway, Nadeem Atallah [KAMMYDARWEISH] arrives at the factory, where apologising Carla Barlow [ALISON KING] confirms that the deal is off. The police arrive but as Craig Tinker [COLSON SMITH] urges the protestors to disperse, Griff [MICHAEL CONDRON] rallies the crowd. As Carla and Nadeem emerge, Spider Nugent [MARTIN HANCOCK] watches in horror as Griff pulls out a bottle and hurls it, hitting Craig on the head. Griff’s arrested whilst a terrified Toyah Battersby [GEORGIA TAYLOR] finds herself caught up in the melée. 

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Spider's career is now clashing with his concern for Toyah. (ITV)

Until now, Spider was primarily known as the nephew of former long-term character Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire), as well as Toyah’s first love. Now there’s a new complexity to the character that adds a whole extra layer to who he is.

Read more: Should soaps make boxsets a permanent fixture?

There’s no denying the appeal of nostalgia when a soap chooses to bring back a familiar face. Over the last decade, Corrie has welcomed home the likes of Jenny Bradley (Sally Ann Matthews), Sharon Bentley (Tracie Bennett) and Stephen Reid (Todd Boyce), as well as Toyah herself.

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before Tuesday 6th September 2022

Coronation Street - 1074142

Monday 12th September 2022

Back at home Leanne Battersby [JANE DANSON] walks in to hear Toyah Battersby [GEORGIA TAYLOR] confessing to Spider  Nugent [MARTIN HANCOCK] that she lied to the police, crashed the car on purpose and intended to kill Imran! As both Spider and Leanne reel, what will they do with Toyah’s confession?

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
A confession is set to complicate Spider's situation further. (ITV)

All of these returns have been storyline-based rather than just for the fun of it, and Spider’s reappearance is no exception. We might have been able to predict that he would rekindle his romance with Toyah, but everything else has been a surprise.

Far from being limited to his reputation as an environmental campaigner who marches to his own beat, Spider 2.0 is a breath of fresh air who promises to deliver constant cliffhangers.

And thankfully, Coronation Street hasn't sacrificed his quirky persona.

Watch the latest Coronation Street spoilers