CUSTODY STREET; Ken and Mike fight for orphan Adam.
CORONATION Street mum Susan Baldwin is to be killed off in a horror car crash.
Her death paves the way for an emotional custody battle for her son Adam between arch rivals Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin.
Emotions boil over at the tearjerking funeral when the boy's grandad Ken and his dad Mike - veteran actors Bill Roache and Johnny Briggs - have their FIFTH punch-up.
A source working on the ITV soap said: "The funeral scenes will be nothing short of sensational, the kind of stuff just about everybody up and down the country will be talking about".
Viewers have seen long-lost Susan - actress Joanna Foster - return to Weatherfield with the grandson her father Ken never knew he had.
Adam (Iain de Caestecker) was Baldwin's son from his short-lived marriage to Susan years ago. He had no idea the boy existed.
Scriptwriters have engineered a dramatic build-up to him finding out about his son.
Tycoon Baldwin wants to take the 12-year-old under his wing - much to the fury Adam's grandad. The source said : "That is like a red rag to a bull as far as Ken is concerned and the simmering hate he has for Baldwin eventually reaches boiling point.
"Susan is adamant she doesn't want her ex-husband to have anything to do with Adam - and the boy himself is all against it.
"But Baldwin is desperate to persuade Adam he is a good dad and tracks the pair down to try to win them over.
"Susan just wants to get away from him and decides on taking her son to Ireland.
"But it is when they are in their car on their way to escape Mike's attentions that the crash happens".
Adam is devastated and it is down to Ken to console his grandson and try to help him come to terms with a future without his mother.
The source added: "Susan's funeral will be a highly-charged affair and deep down Ken is blaming Mike for her death.
"Adam breaks down as the coffin is lowered into the ground.
"Iain's performance will have everyone reaching for their hankies." Mike and Ken start brawling at the graveside and their partners Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) and Linda (Jacqueline Sykes) try to pull them apart.
The insider said: "Mike breaks free and tries to run across to Adam, shouting that he's his dad and to please talk to him.
"The distraught son lashes out at Mike, such is his fury and upset. But the closing scenes will show Mike fighting a losing battle as his son tries to shun him."
Susan's death sparks a bitter custody battle between Ken and Mike to look after Adam, with one of them eventually winning the case.
The storyline should mean a long stay in the soap for Iain - one of a growing number of teenagers being brought into the show.
Ken and Mike have traded blows before. The most famous occasion was when Ken discovered Baldwin's affair with his wife Deirdre.
They also clashed over Mike's plans to marry Ken's daughter Susan and had a punch-up in the Rovers four years later.
Their last scuffle was in 1998 over the fraud trial involving Deirdre.
GREAT BALDWIN V BARLOW BATTLES
1 Ken discovers Mike's affair with Deirdre in 1983
2 Barlow hits out at Mike's 1986 bid to marry Susan
3 The pair are at it again in 1990 in the Rovers Return
4 The pub was also the scene of their last fight in 1998
HEARTACHE: Ken with doomed screen daughter Susan, and Adam
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jan 22, 2001|
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