Thursday, 8 August 2019

Coronation Street begins a child abuse storyline

Coronation Street is to explore the devastating effects of historic child sexual abuse within a family.

Gemma Winter’s world is set to be torn apart when it is revealed that her twin brother Paul was sexually abused by their stepdad Kel.

In the coming weeks Kel will come back into their lives when Gemma and Paul’s mum Bernie is reunited with her ex.

It soon becomes evident that whilst Gemma and Bernie welcome Kel back into the fold, Paul is unnerved by his return and is struggling having him around.

Unbeknownst to Gemma and Bernie, Paul was sexually abused as a young teenager by Kel and the innocent boy was groomed into believing he and Kel were in a consensual relationship.

However,  when Paul’s partner Billy Mayhew discovers his secret he points out to Paul that he was a young child and was in fact being sexually abused by Kel.

The heartbreaking story will explore Paul’s struggle to come to terms with what happened to him and his ultimate fight for justice. As the story develops Bernie will find it difficult to cope with the fact that she had no idea what was going on under her own roof.

Coronation Street producers and writers are working closely with Survivors Manchester who are advising on the story.

Producer Iain MacLeod said:

“Gemma and Paul’s family background has always been fascinating to me - the inseparable bond of twins but with a huge fault-line down the middle, which we’ve hinted at but never explained. This story sensitively explores something that is tragically all too common in families in the real world and will highlight the way these painful events still reverberate many years later. It will, I hope, allow people who have survived similar abuse and perhaps suffered in silence to find their voice and speak up. It will also showcase the brilliant talents of Peter Ash, Dolly-Rose Campbell, Jane Hazlegrove and Corrie newcomer Joe Alessi in some incredibly challenging, powerful scenes. I am very proud of this story.”

Peter Ash said:

“I have known about this storyline for some time so have had the opportunity to speak to Duncan Craig at Survivors Manchester in advance of filming which has been great. His experience was really similar to Paul’s so it was invaluable for me to be able to talk about all the conflicting emotions and not accepting or realising it was abuse until later on in life.  I have also spoken to Jack P Shepherd about how he found filming the male rape storyline and he told me about the increase in calls to Survivors Manchester off the back of it which is incredible. It’s an important storyline and I want to get it right.”

Duncan Craig from Survivors Manchester said:

“Following on from our work on the David Platt rape storyline, I am delighted that Coronation Street have once again asked us at Survivors Manchester to help them with this sensitive storyline. We learned so much together before and the effort made last time is allowing us to tackle the finer and complex details of Paul’s feelings and behaviour. This story is going to resonate with so many male survivors, I’m proud of Coronation Street for committing to making sure it’s right.

“Peter (Ash) and I have been talking a lot about how Paul would be feeling and I have shared some of my own experiences of breaking my silence which Peter has handled with so much care. I know this story will be difficult but as a survivor I have to say it is vital if we are to understand male sexual violence and abuse. Well done Corrie for being brave enough to tell this true story.

“Once again, I’m proud to stand with Coronation Street in telling a difficult story as truthfully and as sensitively as possible. Their commitment to being authentic to real life issues is inspiring and I know first-hand the actual impact of these stories being told - our last piece of work together resulted in a 1700% increase in calls to the male survivor helpline!”

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

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Anonymous said...

Oh dear! So exactly the same as Emmerdale then ... perhaps just call the character Aaron and be done with it.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I'd welcome a storyline on elder abuse. An older resident, maybe Rita, has a fall and carers have to visit her or she is placed temporarily in a care home. Elder abuse is very much in the news now but tricky to do on TV. Easier perhaps (for Corrie's legal team) to portray abuse of young characters by older friends or family than to show problems in adult care provision.

Anonymous said...

Yet another male, gay character was sexually abused by parent or guardian when they were young.

I know this hasn't been done on Corrie but it's just demonstrates the lack of foresight and originality. Iain Macleod is a dreadful producer and the sooner he clears off, the better.

Anonymous said...

Humpty Dumpty,When Nick stole his gran's money,that was a form of elder abuse and unfortunately he got away with it and let David take the fall.
First Bethany gets groomed, David gets raped and now Paul is a victim of sexual abuse.
What is it with the writers and their obsession with sexual abuse storylines that are depressing?

Anonymous said...

The storyline itself does sound like it can be very good.
However, it’s a shame we have the quads storyline with Gemma as I fear it could badly affect Paul’s sexual abuse storyline. Plus the Winter family overload is becoming tiresome very quickly.

But the biggest problem I have with this storyline is it’s ANOTHER RAPE STORYLINE. Every single soap is obsessed with rape storylines. Of course it’s important to raise awareness about rape and sexual abuse, but there are other social issues that Coronation Street has never done before and don’t get enough media coverage.

JennyMac said...

Where has the humour gone in Corrie? Here we have yet another storyline involving the awful Winter family. So boring. Do the writers have to use every headlining topic that is current. Getting very tedious now, I would like a lot less of the Winters not more!

Anonymous said...

Sexual abuse and rape is prevalent. The storylines may be depressing, but they show survival at the end. They may help people be more sensitive to other people in their lives, if those people are now brave enough to disclose what happened to them.
My dad died never knowing what happened to me. I only told my mom about 5 years before she died. These storylines do so much help.

popcorn said...

Could we please send Gemma and Paul's Mum somewhere - - - anywhere.

MartesBC said...

Wow, a very big storyline. I think/hope it will be the healing base that brings these fractured characters together to form a new, albeit flawed family line on the street. Yes a very big, black hole of a storyline. It will be tough, sad, angry and dark before the lights come back on for Paul. And then his mam. This is something important for viewers and Corrie can do a good job of it.

MartesBC said...

Sorry to read about your experience Anon. All too many people are living with this kind of experience from child or teen hood. Thank you for reminding us to have compassion for those who come forward with their story.

Anonymous said...

Thank you MartesBC,
We live in a civilization. Those opportunists who would betray that trust by abusing others should be shamed and exposed.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Anywhere 😂😂😂

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