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Coronation Street writers held 'many discussions' over grooming storyline

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Coronation Street writers held 'many discussions' over grooming storyline

'Coronation Street' writers have held "many discussions" over the upcoming grooming storyline.

Chris Harper's on-screen character Nathan Curtis is set to groom schoolgirl Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) for sex parties, and scriptwriter Jan McVerry has admitted the behind-the-scenes team have been locked in intense discussions over how to best handle the story.

She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I think it's an important story to tell for young people, particularly those who may be lacking in self-confidence.

"There are worries these unscrupulous b******s get in your lives and lure you away. It is a very dark subject.

"My own children are teenagers but others with very young children have asked 'should we be going into this darker territory?'. We have had many discussions on how to tell the story."

However, Chris hopes the harrowing storyline will shed a light on the issue and help more victims of paedophiles to come forward.

The 39-year-old actor - who prepared for the plot with the help of the NSPCC - recently said: "Nothing can desensitise you to what survivors of sexual exploitation have gone through. It's the most important storyline I've ever had.

"It's massively important I get this right for them. We want to reach out to people to let them know help is out there, and to tell ­abusers they can't get away with it.

"Half the problem is getting people to come forward. It's been said that for every one ­person reporting abuse, another seven don't."

Chris also said the upcoming plot could serve as an eye-opener for some TV viewers.

He explained: "The stereotype is of this older man with a sticky suit, bad hair and bad teeth.

"But often the reality is very different. The perpetrators could be any age, any colour or class, and so can the people affected."