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Coronation Street

Fridays at 8.30pm and Saturdays at 9.30pm

Out of the frying pan

Leanne's trying to turn her life around with the Italian restaurant, but rather than being her salvation, the venture may be more trouble than it's worth.

The Background:

After a stint as an escort Leanne Battersby tried to set herself up as a legitimate business-woman by buying the Italian restaurant Valandro's.

Her intended partner Carla Connor pulled out after Leanne's double life and her liaisons with Paul Connor were revealed.

Leanne persevered and after a rocky start managed to make a go of the restaurant. She took on Paul Clayton as the chef, but Paul has brought Leanne more trouble.

When heavies turned up reclaim a debt owned by Paul it was the restaurant that paid the price.  Paul managed to settle his debt, but only by secretly using the Duckworth's (his grandparents) house as collateral for a loan. Jack discovered the loan when he and Vera were planning to sell and move to Blackpool, and agreed to let Paul pay off the loan.

However Paul again cheated his grandfather when he cashed in a winning betting slip that Jack had lost. Dan, the bookie, allowed Paul to cash Jack's ticket but demanded a bribe from Paul. When Dan later had to payout to Jack, he sought to reclaim his money from Paul.

The Story:

In order to extract money from Paul, Dan takes Kelly for an expensive meal at the Restaurant and insists that it is on the house. When Dan does it again, Leanne warns him it's the last time and demands an explanation, and payment, from Paul. Paul confesses about the ticket to Leanne.

When Jack sees Paul nervousness around Dan he guesses that Paul is indebt to the bookies. Paul admits he owes money, but not why.

Dan bails up Paul over the debt. When Paul says he has nothing - only the clothes on his back, Dan decides to take those.  Jack is increasingly worried when he finds Paul creeping home semi-naked, and gives Paul money to pay off the debt.

With the debt now paid Dan asks Leanne if he is welcome in the restaurant. With Dan and Leanne flirting in front of him, Paul rects jealously.

Paul's shock when Leanne reveals she's thinking of selling the restaurant, but is pleased when he hears it's a good offer.

Leanne and Dan continue flirting and she's pleased when she confides about her past as an escort and he's not too bothered. As they become closer Paul's feelings for Leanne intensify.

When the sale falls through Leanne tells Dan how desperate she is to be rid of the place. Dan casually suggests that she torch the place for the insurance, and as the table cloth gets set alight, Leanne sees how easy it is.

The seed of arson has been planted but Dan warns Leanne not do it herself. Leanne says she knows just the person. Knowing Paul's feelings for her, Leanne's confident she can get him to do her dirty work. Planning to seduce him, she and Dan decide to keep their liaisons quiet, even staging an argument in front of Paul.

Leanne begins flirting with Paul, who is delighted with her attention. Cautiously she begins to raise the idea of a fire with Paul, who is eager to please promises to help.

Leanne heads off to Dan's - to give her an alibi, and Paul nervously sets a pan of oil on a burner. As it catches alit he leaves the calls Leanne to tell her it's done. Before he can leave Paul finds smitten waitress Amber waiting for him, and has to hurriedly usher her out. Not wanting to be alone he allows Amber to follow him to the Rovers. Dev is not pleased when he finds his daughter there.

Leanne receives a call at Dan's telling her about the fire, and Dan's surprised by how convincingly Leanne can lie as she does her distraught business-owner act. Having done what Leanne wanted, Paul asks if he can spend the night with her. Not wanting to risk her plan Leanne agrees, but tells him they'll have to take things slowly. But Dan's left angry and jealous wondering just how far Leanne will go to keep Paul on side.

Paul realises he's been used

Leanne fobs Paul off, but when he shows up again the next day Dan refuses to keep up the pretence and tells Paul that he and Leanne are an item. Realising that he has been used to do Leanne's dirty work, Paul threatens to go to the police, but as Dan points out - he started the fire and faces prison if he doesn't keep to the plan. Still fuming at Leanne's deception, Paul agrees to keep to the plan, but tells Leanne that he's fallen in love with her.

Worried that Amber will say something, Paul goes to see her. She tells him that she didn't tell the police anything, and Dev tells Paul to stay away from her.

The insurance investigators say that the claim will take some time to process. Paul and Leanne begin squabbling on the street and Dan overhears and tells them to pack it in before they give the game away.

Leanne begins working at the bookies and is considering opening a late night venue when the insurer pays out, however Paul is struggling to find work and takes a lowly job at a kitchen.

She's pleased when she finally gets a check - happy that she can pay Paul and put it behind her. But Paul's still hurt and determined to make her suffer he demands her share of the payout, reasoning that he's the one that did the dirty work.

Dan insists that Paul is just bluffing and that he should realise that Leanne never loved him, get over it and move on. Angry Paul calls the police confessing to the arson.

When Leanne asks why he'd risk prison he tells her he has nothing left to lose. He's lost his job, the woman he loved and betrayed his family. Paul then confesses to Jack, Tyrone and Molly. Jack's horrified and tells Paul he's glad that Vera's not alive to see that he turned out just like Terry.

The police arrest Leanne and Dan, but they are released on bail. Dan insists that there is no evidence to connect them to the fire and that they will be okay as long as they stick to their story. However things are not looking good when the insurers cancel the check.

Paul seems resigned to prison

Jack's increasingly worried about Paul, as he seems determined to throw his life away to get revenge on Leanne. Jack suggests he gets a good lawyer but Paul refuses Jack's help saying that he already owes him too much.

Dan and Leanne continue to sweat and Harry's getting tired of Leanne's sob story. They get good news when they hear that the police are not taking any further action and the charges are dropped. Paul's furious to learn that Leanne's got away with it, and she's furious that Paul has lost her the insurance money, leaving her with nothing.

As Paul's trial date nears Molly fears that he may do a runner and tells Jack. Jack reminds Paul that he promised never to turn into his father, Terry. Jack offers Paul some money to start a new life, but promises to treble the amount after he's served his time.

Jack leaves Paul to consider the offer, but returns to find that Paul has gone - but that he left the money.