Coronation Street star Maureen Lipman says her fierce character Evelyn Plummer is scared to be intimate.

Evelyn, a classic soap battleaxe, is letting her softer side take over as she becomes more and more smitten with Arthur (Paul Copley).

It’s a new side to Evelyn as the pair plan a romantic weekend away together just the two of them, but unfortunately they hit a snag.

When Evelyn decides to make it a month-long trip rather than a weekend Arthur gets rattled and begins making excuses before hurrying to get away.

She is left devastated by his reaction as, says Maureen, it has taken a lot of courage for her to be able to let her guard down and give herself over to a relationship.

The actress said: ‘She has strong feelings for Arthur and gives him plenty of slack because she knows her predilection for emasculating men who fancy her.

‘When he lets her down she is hurt. It has taken a lot to let her guard down enough to even consider any intimacy.

‘She’s actually dead scared to get her vest off, as she hasn’t considered what’s underneath for twenty years!’

And Arthur is in a whole world of trouble following his reaction to Evelyn suggestion, as the corner shop worker is left hurt and fuming.

Maureen shared: ‘She hates feeling hurt because it makes her weak so she lashes out defensively.” Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’

To make matters more complicated, Arthur is keeping a big secret from her, which is going to put him even more firmly into Evelyn’s bad books.

The soap star revealed: ‘When he reveals why he’s been deceiving her she chooses to send him packing. To save herself from feeling pain, now or in the future.

‘She could forgive him – his dilemma is so credible and understandable- but she closes up the fortress gates. As she always has.’

What is it that Arthur doesn’t want her to know? And will he ever be able to pluck up the courage to tell her?

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