Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Shelley King interview: Geoff's final betrayal from beyond the grave

In general how has Yasmeen been coping since Geoff’s death?

I was listening to a radio programme a couple of days ago where a woman was talking about just this and how long the scars last. You go through this long period of believing it is your fault and being made to believe it is your fault and then it suddenly ends. You still have all those scars, they don't go away. There are still those awful thoughts in your head that make you doubt everything you believe and have ever believed. For Yasmeen it was the most horrific ending, she saw him fall to his death. It wasn't a gradual thing, she never got to take him to trial for what he did to her. It was a sudden short, sharp, shock and she is struggling. She has been isolating herself, she hasn’t been caring for herself as much as she should, she has been running away from life really. Her first instinct is to hide in a corner and not go out.

Has her friendship with Elaine helped her?

Yes absolutely, she is somebody who has had that same experience but they are not alike. Elaine is a much more confident person by the time we have met her. She is many years on from where Yasmeen is. So Yasmeen has this person around her who seems to be quite positive now, even though Yasmeen has seen her in court crumbling having to face Geoff, she has still rallied to the cause and rushed to Yasmeen’s aid. She is a fighter and Yasmeen sees her as a beacon for the possibility of a future for herself. She can see what is possible. She says that Elaine is the only person who truly understands what she has been through.

Tell me about the incident with the customer?

She questions her own capabilities and this is one of the first times she has felt a bit better and starts working again. At the first hurdle she disappoints and can’t cope with it. He is there in her head, she judges herself and Geoff becomes the voice of her own judgement of herself. When the customer is talking about Geoff it is another manifestation of Geoff’s ghost, the memory of Geoff can never be erased. He is the father of Tim and other people know him through the hospital or his magic and that is a physical reminder that the good Geoff, the Geoff that people loved still exists in their memories and if someone liked him what does that say about her? A small incident like that sends her back again.

How does she feel when she discovers not only has Geoff has left her with debts he also tricked her into signing for loans etc?

This is something else that she has put to the back of her memory because she did tell Imran that Geoff got her to sign things and she just signed anything he asked her to. She is intelligent enough to know she has done those things and she blames herself for doing those things, she questions why she did those things. There is a bit of her who believes that she deserves punishment. The most difficult thing when you come out of a situation, like the one Yasmeen was in, is the voice that says why did you allow yourself to do this? There is also a lack of sympathy from people who have never known what it feels like within a controlling relationship, they don't believe they could ever fall into this category and that is also another reason why she thinks Elaine is the only person she can talk to.

Is she overwhelmed?

Yes. That is why she has hidden all the bills, she believes deep down that she is to blame. She wants to run away from this place and everything it stands for, she doesn’t want Speed Daal, she doesn’t want the house, she just wants it all to go away.  She doesn’t know what that would mean for her future but she wants to get away and have a completely clean slate.

Just when they think it can get no worse the bailiffs are at the door, do you think Yasmeen can cope with it all?

Yes it is going to push her over the edge. Suddenly all those fears that she has, all those things that have been locked away in a box in the back of her head suddenly exist for real because there is a man at the front door saying he is there to take everything away. Also Alya has found what remains of a whole pile of final demands and bills. We also find out that she has also thrown some away. The self hatred returns and she becomes Geoff in her head putting herself down. He is telling her she is an idiot and a fool she has lost everything because of her own actions. It is so sad that she believes that. 

How will she feel when she discovers Geoff has left everything to Tim?

It is a duality, she doesn't want it but she knows that she is now not able to leave a legacy for her grandchildren and she blames herself for that. She wants to help them but the thought of going into the places that Geoff occupied not only in her mind by physically is now getting too much for her. She doesn’t know what to do about this turn of events. She knows what she should be doing and that is facing up to it all and going back to  work but how can she?

How important is it to show that even when the abuse stops the torment doesn’t?

It is hugely important, I discussed it at length with the producer and the story editor and all of us knew how important it was. Having taken the risk, and it is a risk in a soap, to carry on a storyline for the amount of time that we have, it wasn't an easily accepted one at first not only because of the horror if it but also because traditionally soaps don't spend that much ,time exploring one subject. Soaps are a moral compass and Coronation Street deals with these huge stories brilliantly but this one has been going for three years, having spent that amount of time on research and commitment it would be morally wrong to not follow her story after the abuse ends. People who have been through court cases, have started to move in with their life, the mental scars don’t go away. It is important to show the full picture for all the women and men who have shared their stories with us. Hopefully it will help their friends and relatives understand that this thing doesn't go away just because the other person has somehow left your life.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'Pleased' is the wrong word but I'm grateful for Coronation Street for shining a light on the lesser well-known implications of domestic abuse e.g. accounts opened in the victim's name without their awareness and the devastating impact it has.


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