Corrie shock as Steve McDonald revealed as father of Leanne Battersby's baby


Viewers were left aghast after it was revealed that Coronation Street's Steve McDonald is the father of Leanne Battersby's longed-for baby.

In dramatic scenes aired on ITV on Friday, soap fans learnt that hapless Steve (played by Simon Gregson) faces the daddy of all dilemmas after his wife Michelle (Kym Marsh) also announces that she is expecting a child.

The two women bond over their baby news, but will the Rovers Return landlord Steve be able to keep the secret of his illegitimate child - conceived following a one-night stand - from Michelle, who herself is keen to be a mother again?

Simon Gregson as Steve McDonald in Coronation Street

In 2011, viewers had witnessed Leanne (Jane Danson) being told that it was unlikely she would ever be able to conceive after contracting an infection whilst pregnant and in a relationship with Peter Barlow.

For Leanne, news of the miracle baby means the world to her - however Steve wants nothing to do with the infant, fearing it will threaten his marriage and could see Michelle leave him for good.

Producer Kate Oates said: "Nick is persistent and Nick adores her. The question is, when he discovers that she is pregnant, whether that is a hurdle he can overcome and whether he is willing to bring up another man's child, and also when he discovers who that father is, how he deals with it."

Coronation Street's Michelle Connor and Steve McDonald are set for more drama as she reveals she is pregnant with their first child together

She added: "It's another thing when it's your neighbour and it's Steve McDonald. Steve has gone from not necessarily wanting any more children to potentially fathering two, and the drama that we are going to uncover is kind of how he juggles that and what it does to him having Leanne over the road with a burgeoning bump."

Sources said that the fling happened when Leanne and Steve were both at a low ebb and sought comfort in each other.

Michelle Connor will drop a baby bombshell on husband Steve McDonald in Coronation Street

Although Leanne has been a mother to Simon Barlow (Alex Bain) since her relationship with his father Peter (Chris Gascoyne), she has not given birth to a child of her own.

Jane, who plays Leanne, said: "In true Leanne style she kind of shuts her eyes to it all because it will be okay, but because he (Nick) has given up so much, we've got to start this relationship with absolutely no secrets, we've got to be so honest with each other. She has to tell him the truth and hope that he will cope with it, which he doesn't really, very well."

Jane Danson as Leanne Battersby in Coronation Street

She describes it as "a pressure cooker waiting to blow" as Michelle seeks to bond with her over baby news and speaks of them going through pregnancies together.

Meanwhile Simon says that the fling happened after Steve "gave in to temptation" but added that his character was "over the moon" about Michelle's pregnancy because of his desire to have a child with her.

Kym said: "She's thinking this can only be a good thing and it's kind of my last chance, of course she doesn't know his (Steve's) secret," but she added that her character would no doubt make Steve's life hell.

Leanne with Simon on Coronation Street

But she remained tight-lipped about what the couple's future held, saying: "If it does mark the end for now, we hope that they will somehow find their way back to each other."

Bosses earlier announced that Peter Barlow would be returning to the cobbles, which Jane said was "great news".