Paula Lane is at the centre of a huge Coronation Street storyline, but she only found out what was going to happen through her co-star Jack P. Shepherd, who plays her on-screen husband, David.

“It was a text saying, ‘Kylie’s going to be a full-on druggie!”’ former Huddersfield Technical College student Lane reveals, adding that it’s not that strange that Shepherd knew of the storyline before her.

“Sometimes, it just happens,” she explains. “We’re in a big building and things get filtered down the line, and more often than not, we’re put in the loop quite quickly.”

Understandably, the actress, 28, wanted clarification, so sat down with the show’s bosses. It transpired that Kylie would start taking her son Max’s ADHD medication (as viewers have witnessed in recent weeks), but her life’s set to take an even darker turn, when she makes the decision to contact her bad boy ex - Max’s father, Callum.

“Kylie feels really strung-out, like a failure basically, and she’s aware that people on the street judge her quite quickly, especially with Max’s behaviour, so Kylie wants answers from his biological father,” explains Lane. “She hasn’t got ADHD herself so she’s just thinking, ‘What could he have inherited from his father?”’

Eva, played by Catherine Tyldesley, offers to accompany her to her old neighbourhood, but is shocked to see how Kylie is with Callum, played by handsome new recruit Sean Ward, laughing and joking, rather than discussing the real reasons for her visit.

“In my head, they were king and queen of their estate, they ruled the roost, and I think she gets a bit of a kick out of being with him again,” says Lane. “I wouldn’t say she fancies him, but he’s got this charm and makes her feel excited.”

She and Ward share great chemistry, something Lane is thankful for, as the pair only had a day to get to know one other. “He’s fabulous, and I think he’s going to add a great flavour to the street.”

The same can’t be said, however, of his character Callum, a known drug-dealer who soon provides Kylie with speed, after David discovers her secret and prevents her from taking any more of Max’s medication.

As part of her research, Lane had a meeting with a recovering speed addict.

At home Kylie Platt (Paula Lane) struggles with the salon accounts as Lily cries upstairs, feeling the pressure Kylie looks at Max’s pills, will she be tempted?
At home Kylie Platt (Paula Lane) struggles with the salon accounts as Lily cries upstairs, feeling the pressure Kylie looks at Max’s pills, will she be tempted?
 

“She was fabulous and told me all the horrors. I came away feeling like I’d been really opened up to this world,” she recalls. “With heroin, your body absolutely needs it, but with speed, it’s more psychological, so you hallucinate, you essentially go a bit stir-crazy and I’m trying to keep that in mind.”

As traumatic a time as Kylie’s had since making her Corrie debut in 2010 (including selling her son, cheating on David and battling a drink problem), Lane was genuinely shocked when first told about the storyline.

“I didn’t see it coming, but actually, I’ve really enjoyed playing it,” says the actress, who married her long-term boyfriend, fellow Huddersfield student Tom Shaw, earlier this year. “There’s been a lot of truth, a lot of depth, and they [the show’s producers] haven’t just gone into it on a whim, they’ve really done their research.”

The story’s set to run for a few months, culminating in the Christmas specials.

“This is my third Christmas when I’ve had quite a big story. I don’t think I could have got a better audience than Christmas Day. It always peaks, doesn’t it?” says Lane, who’s pregnant with her first child and will be going on maternity leave in early November.

“Initially, I did state I would’ve liked to have worked closer to the birth, but realistically, being as busy as I have been, I will be ready to go at that point.”

She confesses she’d been unnecessarily terrified about telling producer Stuart Blackburn about her pregnancy. No doubt relieved that she wasn’t announcing her resignation, “he just said it was great and we’ll sort it out”.

“It was also like a light bulb moment, and he went, ‘We can do this and this’,” recalls Lane who, so far, hasn’t had too many problems disguising the bump.

“It’s amazing what a baggy top can do,” she adds, laughing. “I’ve been very lucky that I’ve stayed a similar shape to what I was before, but you can cheat with patterns and a big handbag. My first disguise was a teapot and a fruit bowl. They were like, ‘Don’t move from that spot!”’

As it stands, she’s planning on taking three months off. “That was just a personal choice. I’ve got a very good support network, so I’ll be making arrangements so that I can come back and get my feet back on the street.”

As tiring as it’s been in recent months, the actress has got a kick out of being “pregnant and accomplishing something. I’ve felt like I’ve gone on this journey with my little pal”, says Lane.

Paula was born and brought up in Hebden Bridge and studied at the former Halifax Catholic High School.

She then moved to study at Huddersfield Technical College, now Kirklees College, where she studied performing art.

The course included acting, music and dance.

She worked with several local amateur companies before moving to London to further her theatrical dreams.

She now lives in Manchester with her actor husband, who is also a former Huddersfield college student.

Paula made her professional debut in Yorkshire TV’s Heartbeat in 2009 and has also appeared in The Royal and BBC drama Doctors.

She graduated from London’s Central School of Speech and Drama in 2008, making her TV debut in Heartbeat in 2009. A year after that, she was walking down the cobbles.

“I was always taught at drama school that if you do the celebrity route, you’ll find it very, very hard to come out of something like Corrie and work,” Lane recalls. “I don’t mean work in the sense of earning money, but the right kind of roles, so I’ve always been very conscious of keeping my privacy.”

Paula Lane arriving for the 2014 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena in London.
Paula Lane arriving for the 2014 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena in London.
 

When you’re on the box five times a week, though, there will be a certain level of attention, and she admits “it’s wonderful when people notice you for doing the job”.

“I get the biggest kick when they say, ‘Oh, you’re so different in real life’. I think that’s worth a thousand magazine deals.”

Has she thought about what else she’d like to do?

“In a perfect world, I’d love to come out, tread the boards at [Manchester’s] Royal Exchange Theatre, or be part of a fresh drama,” she says.

There’s nothing lined up at the moment, but she does have a “time span in my head” for when to move on.

“That could change, so I’ll just go with whatever my instinct says at the time,” Lane adds. “Because the baby’s going to change things, and you’ve got to be realistic.”

EXTRA TIME - KYLIE PLATT’S DRAMAS

2010 - Kylie was introduced as the half-sister of Becky McDonald, who helped her retrieve her son Max from foster care. Kylie later sold Max to Becky for £20,000.

2011 - Unimpressed with her son’s choice of partner, Gail Platt attempted (unsuccessfully) to sabotage Kylie and David’s wedding.

2012 - Kylie and David ousted his grandmother, Audrey, from her own salon. The stress induced Audrey to have a heart attack, which David blamed Kylie for.

2013 - After falling out with David, Kylie had a one night stand with his brother Nick. A month later, she discovered she was pregnant and didn’t know who the father was.

2014 - After David told her he couldn’t forgive her for sleeping with Nick, she got drunk at the Rovers, made a pass at Rob Donovan and got into a cat-fight with the late Tina McIntyre.