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!”
You know her, you love her, and she won Best Pop at the 2018 MTV EMA! Pop superstar Dua Lipa will be joining the 2019 main show performer lineup along with some new faces to the MTV EMA: Seoul-based global pop powerhouse NCT 127.
But wait, there’s more!
Mexican pop superstar Sofia Reyes will also be returning to the MTV EMA, this time joined by Puerto Rican hitmaker Jhay Cortez and Brazilian drag queen, singer, and songwriter and 2019 Best Brasilian Act nominee Pabllo Vittar. These three artists will kick off the biggest global music celebration of the year with pre-show performances on the EMA red carpet!
On top of hearing from these amazing artists, actors Terry Crews and Paz Vega and supermodels Joan Smalls, Doutzen Kroes, Georgina Rodriguez and Leomie Anderson will make some very special appearances throughout show!
Dua Lipa and NCT 127 join previously announced performers Niall Horan, Halsey, Rosalía, EMA show host Becky G, Akon, Ava Max and Mabel. Iconic rock act Green Day, The Struts and León Benavente will also perform from Seville’s spectacular Plaza de España as a part of “MTV World Stage Seville.”
As exclusively revealed on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two this evening (Monday 28 October), EastEnders stars Ricky Champ, Louisa Lytton, Maisie Smith and Rudolph Walker OBE will be taking to the dancefloor alongside the Strictly professionals, as they go head to head to win the Pudsey Glitterball trophy for BBC Children in Need 2019.
Presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the Strictly special will feature as part of the BBC Children in Need 2019 Appeal Night on BBC One on Friday 15 November.
Ricky Champ says: “I am so excited to be taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing EastEnders special. I’m looking forward to showing the world my moves. Bring it on!”
Louisa Lytton says: “It feels like a lifetime ago since I did Strictly Come Dancing so I am beyond excited to put my dancing shoes back on and return to the famous floor. It’s for a fantastic cause which makes it all the more special.”
Maisie Smith says: “I’m flattered to be part of such an iconic show! Strictly has been a family favourite in my house for years. I can’t wait to put my dancing skills to the test!”
Rudolph Walker OBE says: “I am thrilled to be taking part in this year’s competition and can’t wait to get started. Although at 80 years old, it’s probably best I don’t try to do the splits!”
Ricky will be dancing with Luba Mushtuk; Louisa will be dancing with Gorka Marquez; Maisie will take to the floor with Kevin Clifton and Rudolph will be partnered with Nancy Xu. The stars will compete in a group number, choreographed by former Strictly professional Trent Whiddon, in a bid to be crowned champions.