FORGET Blue Monday, CORONATION STREET’s Gail Platt is having a whole Blue January.
I can reveal Richard Hillman, her ex husband and one of the greatest soap villains of all time, is coming back to Weatherfield.
But not how you might think.
Gail, who he tried to kill alongside her kids David and Sarah and granddaughter Bethany in his final act of revenge, will speak to the murderer in a conversation with a clairvoyant.
And the Mystic Meg wannabe will be a familiar face, as she will be played by Harry Potter star SOPHIE THOMPSON, sister of A-lister Emma.
A Street source said: “Richard coming back will get fans talking massively.
“He was one of the most terrifying characters ever to step onto the cobbles.
“He won’t be on screen, but his conversations with Gail will form a major storyline over the coming weeks.
“Bosses have got a big name in Sophie to play the clairvoyant too. It should be a real trip down memory lane for Gail.”
But I’m told despite looking legit on the surface, the supernatural loving new signing might not be all she’s cracked up to be.
Richard Hillman met his maker when he ploughed his car into the canal with the Platts inside
The source added: “The story is going to run for a few weeks and Sophie’s character has a bit of a back story too.
“It’s not clear whether she might have a previous link to Richard but she’s certainly a mixed bag.”
Richard, played by Brian Capron, has been voted one of the greatest villains in soap history and rightly so.
His reign of terror saw him kill his ex-wife Patricia and Maxine Peacock, set his mother-in-law Audrey’s house on fire, and tried to kill Emily Bishop for money.
But his parting shot was trying to kill Gail and her family by driving the family car into the canal.
She will be sticking to Ubers from now on.
Richard Hillman violently kills Maxine on Coronation Street
Read more from Dan Wootton's Bizarre TV Column
Grin 'n bare it, Lucy
AFTER a grim year on Coronation Street, it’s nice to see actress LUCY FALLON with a grin on her face.
The star, who plays Bethany on the cobbles, joined co-star ROB MALLARD on the This Morning sofa yesterday.
She spoke about this week’s explosive episode in which Bethany is found working at a lap-dancing club by boyfriend Craig.
When asked if Daniel and his former sister-in-law will get together for a fling, Rob said: “Yeah, it’s Carla. You can say it – I just wasn’t sure whether I was allowed.”
Don’t worry Rob, I beat you to it.
Coronation Street's Rob Mallard teases Daniel Osbourne's relationship with Carla Connor – she's working her way through the Barlows 180118
THE day the Brannings have long been dreading finally arrives in EASTENDERS as doctors prepare to turn off Abi’s life support.
They congregate at the hospital to say their farewells and reality finally sets in for Lauren. But Max is still struggling to accept what is happening.
In CORONATION STREET, there is drama in the Rovers when the Battersby and Connor ladies cause a commotion.
Elsewhere, Phelan becomes the focus of attention at Anna’s trial, while Gemma enjoys a stroke of luck and Bethany sets up Gary in a sting operation.
Plus, Peter reassures Toyah he’s not a cheater and Liz persuades Gemma to stage a bash for Henry.
SHE left Coronation Street in 1973 after her character Elaine Perkins turned down Ken Barlow’s marriage offer.
And JOANNA LUMLEY has revealed she rejected another Corrie proposal more recently – this time from soap bosses wanting her to return.
She said: “Three years ago they said, ‘Would you fancy picking this up again?’ They wanted Elaine Perkins to come back. I said yes.
“They said, ‘These are the dates when we are filming,’ but it was when I was doing one of my travel pieces for ITV. It was a pain. I think I am past it now. But Ken is still around.”
Joanna reflected on Ken, played by WILLIAM ROACHE, getting down on one knee at the end of her original eight- episode stint. She added: “Ken came round to my posh house and asked me to marry him and [Elaine] said that Coronation Street was too boring. Britain hated me and I left.”
Joanna redeemed herself by forming a more enduring twosome with JENNIFER SAUNDERS in Absolutely Fabulous, so all is forgiven.
Joanna Lumley revealed as new host for BAFTAS replacing Stephen Fry
WHAT? Room 101, BBC1, 8.30pm.
WHY?JEREMY PAXMAN is one of the guests who has to decide what objects, people and events are a worst nightmare. The former Newsnight host picks DAVID CAMERON.
Rainie's moving back in
THERE’S a Rainie cloud over Albert Square tonight – as one of the soap’s most notorious troublemakers returns.
But she’s unlikely to get a warm welcome, with residents worried the drug addict will bring her usual trail of destruction with her.
A soap source said: “Rainie has always been bad news, so her return will raise more than a few eyebrows.
“She’s coming back briefly to join her family in saying an emotional goodbye to Abi Branning, but then she’ll make a full return. While she has always promised to change, she has never managed to shake those demons.”
Rainie was last seen stealing from her mother, Cora, before fleeing Walford – having embarked on a drug-fuelled descent into chaos alongside Phil Mitchell, above.
She’s the latest classic character to return to the soap after veteran boss John Yorke began reviving its fortunes.
Mel Owen surprises Ben Mitchell as she returns to Eastenders
Tanya said: “It’s like I’ve never been away. I love working with everyone at EastEnders.
“With John Yorke at the helm at the moment, the show is in good hands and I’m excited to explore the next chapter in Rainie’s journey.”