Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Monday, 30 April 2018

Shayne Ward interview: Aidan Connor to take his own life

How did Aidan reach this tragic point?
The thing is everybody is going to be thinking were there any tell tale signs that Aidan was feeling suicidal? You can't pin it down to one particular thing that has happened to him over the years. He has always been quite troubled. But it isn't always possible to spot a person is struggling to cope with life.

I had to figure out when and why Aidan had reached a point were he felt this was his only option, the path that he was going to take. I feel that it was because of all the problems that he caused, a lot of them not on purpose and some were down to his own actions. He lost his relationship and as a consequence he lost the factory and everyone lost their jobs, I have figured out that one thing Aidan can't do is escape his own mind, he is short tempered with people. But he could never explain why he was angry or annoyed, he just was and he really did feel, wrongly, that everyone would be better off without him.

How long had he felt this way?
He had actually planned to do this sooner but then Carla was sick and needed a kidney he saw this as a way to finally do something good, to help someone, but by this point he had decided that he was going to take his own life and posted the later, but when he found out about Carla and he intercepted the letter the next day from the postman outside his dad's flat. He stopped his family seeing the suicide note and he didn't go ahead with his plan at that point. There was a moment in the hospital when he was crying his eyes out, but tragically he kept all of that from his family, so there were no tell tale signs for his family to see. He didn't talk to anyone about how he was feeling. Everyone around him was so happy that it had been successful. He didn't want to burden anyone with his thoughts.

He wants to get everyone their jobs back and make the factory a success. To be given the whole empire of Underworld after everything he had done to that business was overwhelming for him. Now it is all on his shoulders, it is incredible but what if he messes it up again, that is something that has plagued Aidan ever since we first saw him. He has always wanted to prove that he is like his dad and that he can carry on the empire but he just seems to trip up along the way and that is his biggest fear - what if I do it again?

Tell us about the moment when he realises the baby is his
Toyah has been acting awkward around Aidan in regards to the baby. He knows Eva has gone away to have a baby, he thinks it's Adam's baby and that door is shut. But when Susie comes into play, Toyah is acting really weird around him. He can't work out why and there is a moment when he tells Toyah the baby is beautiful and she gives him a strange look. He thinks it is a bit odd and there is a scene in the pub where someone goes to pass the baby to Aidan and Toyah steps in to stop him and he realises that it is now twice that she has behaved weirdly with the baby around him. When she goes behind the bar, she turns and they lock eyes and he sees it in her eyes, the moment is so tell tale. The truth dawns on him that it's his baby. Eva has gone away, no one has seen or heard from her and she hasn't returned any of his calls. This baby is now on the scene and he knows from the way that Toyah has reacted that there is something going on.

What happens when he holds the baby?
Aidan decides to go and find Eva, and he goes to call her but he isn't able to face her rejection again so he cancels the call. Johnny spills red wine on him so he goes to try and find some paper towels and sees Toyah and tries to ask about Eva, but she gets defensive and he doesn't want to arouse suspicion. But at that moment he feels the need to find out if he feels a connection to the baby and that is really sad, because he holds the baby. You see the sadness in his eyes as he realises that he can't be there for this baby, he loves the baby and he doesn't want to let the child down, he in his mind has let everyone else down and he thinks he will do the same again. He feels that everyone, including his child will be better off without him. When he holds her she is the most beautiful thing in the whole world but he just passes her back to Toyah. He thinks he would ruin this child's life.

Why does he go to see Eva at this point?
She doesn't know why he is there but he is not there to have it out with her, he just wants to see her. She is confused and when he says that he has seen the baby, she starts to get panicky and apologises, but he says she has nothing to apologise for, he knows everything she did is because of how he treated her. She breaks down and he tells her that he thinks what she is doing with the baby is the right thing. Johnny breaks the moment by calling him, so he says goodbye and tells Eva that he loves her.

What happens in his final scenes?
He is sat in the pub and he is completely numb sat with his family who are completely unaware of his terrible state of mind. The last time we will see him is when he is back at the flat alone and he breaks down.

How did you feel when you were asked about playing this storyline?
I am honoured to have been trusted with a storyline like this, it shows the confidence that Kate Oates and the team had in me to be able to play it. When you get given a storyline like this it is a decision that is not taken lightly, I have played it with as much honestly and truth as I could. I am very proud of what I have done in my three years on the show and on this storyline in particular.

Aidan is an 'everyman' figure, he is someone men can identify with, which is important in telling this story. We hope that anyone who recognises something of themselves in Aidan, will realise they can, and really should, talk about how they are feeling.

They should realise this is not the only option, they can and should talk to someone, rather than suffer in silence and potentially let things get worse.

Talking could have helped Aidan turn his life around. It could have brought him relief from what he was going through. This what his loved one would have wanted. Suicide is a very permanent response to what are usually temporary problems.

We all know someone who has maybe felt like Aidan did, someone who found it hard to talk and we have all heard stories like Aidan's when it was too late, when people looked back and wished they had spotted the signs, but it isn't always possible. If we can encourage someone who is feeling low, who is having the sort of thoughts Aidan was having, to realise they need to talk, then we have achieved what we set out to do with this story.

If Aidan's storyline is resonating with you, there is help and support available now. Samaritans offers a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week helpline support service. Call them FREE on 116 123. You can also email Further information can be found at

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maggie muggins said...

I'm sure the cast and staff will do a stellar job on this, but when I heard about it today, I felt something almost like anger. David still hasn’t even told anyone about being raped, and now we're onto male suicide? I have a personal stake in saying this, as I have lost a close male family member to suicide. I feel like Kate is packing in way too many social issues into Corrie before she leaves. Why, I wonder?

Sure, it's important they are talked about and not hidden away, but why doesn't she join some volunteer groups, make some documentaries and generally help out in several other ways?

Sure, Corrie is a captive audience, but there are many other venues to get the word out without piling up story after story about various issues, and eventually the whole show is lost in a mire of tangled scripts. As someone who has been affected by this particular issue, I have to say I feel somewhat used.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I'm very disappointed in this exit. It doesn't seem that long ago that Steve was suffering from depression and David is currently going through some kind of breakdown. Aidan's state of mind hasn't been signposted at all which is why, I suppose, we're getting this explanatory note, masquerading as an interview. While it's true in real life that you can't always spot suicidal thoughts in a person, when it comes to drama, the audience must get hints along the way. It really doesn't seem authentic that Aidan would end it all; more likely, he'd run off into the sunset never to be heard of again. It seems as though the writers wanted to kill him off and decided on suicide. How can it help anyone going through similar turmoil when there's been no dramatic build-up and Aidan's suicide comes out of the blue? He'll be forgotten in a fortnight and, of course, Carla will take over again at the factory. Everything will come out into the open and I don't see how Peter and Toyah can keep the baby.

Anonymous said...

If you really had lost a male relative to suicide then surely you'd be giving hats off to the writers for this long overdue story that will save lives??

Flo said...

I have mixed feelings about this. I agree with those who say it's too much all at one time, but that seems to be the way Ms. Kate seems to like it. The viewers are barely getting time to get through when crisis and another one is thrown out there.

As for the lead up to this story--it really isn't all that unusual for someone to do something like this and others to not expect it. I worked with a girl who was on the verge of suicide and none of her family saw she was struggling. I also had a friend who lost a fiancé to suicide, and she often talked about how she as well as his family had no idea he was in that bad of a place. Years later she had regrets. I just hope that it's handled properly and not suddenly a case where everyone forgets. When you think about how many people will be affected: Johnny, Kate, Carla, Jenny, Eva, Summer, Alya, all of the employees at the factory--it's a wide ranging storyline and handled well, it can send a valuable message over the next few months, even years. I guess we will soon find out.

Anonymous said...

Coronation Street is a continuing drama series, its purpose is to grip viewers and keep stories flowing. Any story about a group of humans relies on social issues. Kate has packed them in indeed, but has also turned the show's ratings around, if it's not to your taste then perhaps you should stick to Last of the summer wine re-runs!

Anonymous said...

Come on, there have been many signposts and hints for a long time on this one, as detailed in the blog and interview. You should spend less time expressing how disappointed you are and more time paying attention to the screen and assuming you know what happens. "It seems as though the writers wanted to kill him off and decided on suicide" - that's generally how soaps work Humpty, sorry to break it to you(!)

David said...

Before anyone thinks of using the old this wouldn't have happened in the good old days two words Janet Barlow.

Anonymous said...

And there were Katy Harris, and Hayley Cropper. It is the first time that Corrie showed a male suicide storyline (apart from Richard Hillman, it is entirely different).

Coronation Street is in its 58th year, it is very difficult to not be repetitive and in Kate Oates' reign, it is very amazing that most of her storylines are very new and fresh.

Considering how Kate has been involved with a charity for two years that handle suicides, I would have said that it is very important to her, considering that this storyline is the one she mentioned last year how she was nervous about.

As for the statistics, 84 death each week due to suicide, I would rather to keep that number lower, so bring on awareness!

Anonymous said...


CK said...

I was looking forward to a happy reunion with Eva and Aidan and the baby. I was crushed when I heard that he commits suicide. I had suspected it but was hopeful to something happy. More fool me.


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