Coronation Street writer Jonathan Harvey has reflected on the “phenomenal” response to some of the soap’s hard-hitting storylines, calling working on the episodes “a nice responsibility to have”.
Harvey wrote the episodes for two of Corrie‘s biggest storylines so far this year â€“ David Platt’s male rape plot and Aidan’s suicide â€“ and speaking to Graham Norton on Radio 2 today (May 26), the writer opened up about taking on the responsibility of writing such serious subject matters.
“It’s a nice responsibility, and it was very flattering to be asked to do both the male rape and the suicide episode,” he said.
“To get these really serious episodes, all your responsibility then is to be as truthful as possible. You know they’re going to be talked about and watched a lot, but that’s a nice responsibility â€“ you haven’t got to go over the top. It’s just about being as realistic as possible.”
He continued to say that with Aidan’s suicide storyline in particular, all the scripts were checked by CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) and Samaritans so that the soap could do justice to the issues being discussed.
“The worst thing is you didn’t want to trigger anything in anybody watching this,” he added. “There’s a duty of care to the audience.”
Harvey also agreed with Graham’s comment that the episodes had garnered a “phenomenal” response, citing the increase in phone calls to a male rape helpline in the week after David Platt’s story aired, and adding: “Yes, it’s quite overwhelming really.
“It does get people talking. I’ve had lots of emails and messages from people who’ve been affected by both subject matters.”
Harvey was on Radio 2 to support his new musical, Dusty: The Dusty Springfield Musical, which embarks on its UK tour from June 23-July 28.
Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 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 atwww.thesurvivorstrust.org. In an emergency, please dial 999.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with Aidan’s story to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), and Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) also has helplines available from 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58 (nationwide) and 0808 802 58 58 (London) (www.thecalmzone.net/).
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video â€“ hit play below for all the latest Coronation Street spoilers, as Phelan unleashes his revenge and Josh is finally arrested.