The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct that some readers may find distressing.
Outgoing Coronation Street showrunner Kate Oates has confirmed that the David Platt rape storyline will end in hugely controversial fashion.
The current male rape plot is the ITV soap’s second examination of the issue of sexual assault recently, following the Bethany Platt grooming storyline.
But, unlike in the Bethany plot where her abuser was jailed in the end, Kate Oates has told The Radio Times that Josh Tucker (Ryan Clayton) will not end up behind bars.
(Bethany Platt meets Nathan in Coronation Street)
“I believe that, in this instance, David’s perpetrator wouldn’t be convicted. I’m not afraid of controversy â€“ it’s more important to reflect the truth. If you tie things up with a bow, there’s a danger people will just think, ‘We don’t need to talk about this anymore. It’s done’,” she said.
“The ending will surprise people. David will get catharsis and some acknowledgement, but he might not get that legally. In soap, a lot of the justice comes from the community â€“ [former Corrie producer] Phil Collinson called it the court of Coronation Street and I completely get that.”
Oates noted that this creative choice was influenced by a discussion with TV’s Judge Rinder about the authenticity of the story.
“He spoke to me about how David would be cross-examined on the stand â€“ it would be hard, brutal and intimate,” the producer noted.
“Rob is a massive supporter of the storyline and he did make me think about how things would be spun in a courtroom. There are a lot of things that we wouldn’t have been able to show on screen at that time in the evening.”
Oates has come in for criticism during her final months in the job as Corrie producer for both David’s rape and the impending suicide of Aidan Connor, but she was defended last week by one of the soap’s scriptwriters.
“As a dramatist, it’s good to get into these stories but when the rape episode went out, the volume of calls to the male rape helpline went up something like 1,700 per cent in the next week. So that makes a difference,” writer Jonathan Harvey argued.
“It’s getting people talking, so I hope that will be the effect of the story next week. Male suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45, there are 84 deaths each week. I think with Aidan’s story, it’s someone who’s never expressed their feelings or felt able to speak.”
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.
Survivors Manchester is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. Its website can be found at www.survivorsmanchester.org.uk and its helpline is 0161 236 2182. Local support agencies for all male and female survivors can be found at www.thesurvivorstrust.org. In an emergency, please dial 999.
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video â€“ hit play below for all the latest Coronation Street spoilers, as Aidan’s suicide devastates the Connor family and David finally tells Shona the truth.