Coronation Street bosses don’t shy away from shock storylines.
Michelle Connor’s dramatic stillbirth storyline had such an impact that it led to a real-life campaign for mother’s who have lost their children.
Recently, the soap’s storyline supremos have left audiences aghast once more after a child grooming plot-line involving 17-year-old Bethany Platt.
The story sparked outrage from viewing audiences and Ofcom have contemplated an investigation.
“We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate,” the regulatory body is reported to have said.
Caution: spoilers ahead!
Coronation Street fans were left feeling “physically sick” and “disgusted” after watching the most recent episodes of the soap.
The latest episodes featured another horrific turn in the Bethany Platt storyline, as the teenager is taken advantage of further by her vile abusive fiancé Nathan.
A preview of the episode shockingly revealed that Bethany Platt would be forced into a horrifying threesome with three sick older men at the hands of her cruel and evil partner. One of the men viewers recognized from an earlier episode. He was one of Nathan Curtis’ sick friends, come to get revenge.
The latest upsetting scenes have prompted viewers to call out the soap, claiming that producers of Coronation Street have “gone too far” with the story. However, while many fans of the show have struggled to watch the shocking storyline, others have praised the show for highlighting an important issue.
If you have been affected by Bethany’s story in any way you can contact Childline anonymously through their website or helpline number which is 0800 1111.
The build up to the latest events is just as dramatic. Bethany’s mum Sarah previously found Bethany passed out drunk at Nathan’s house before one of his horrific ‘parties’. Fearing for her daughter’s life, Sarah called Gary Windass to help her take Bethany home.
The teenager became violent when she realised she couldn’t leave her home on Coronation Street to return to Nathan and attend his ‘party’. As Bethany flew out of control, her family looked on in horror.
When terrified Bethany wakes up and realises where she is, she panics about what Nathan will think when he realises she’s missing. In a fit of fear, Bethany lashes out, smashing up her mum’s home and becoming violent in a desperate bid to leave.
Gary and Sarah attempt to stop her leaving, but Bethany takes to dramatic and horrifying means to escape – by unexpectedly stabbing one of the pair!
Just as it seemed that Nathan’s evil plot could finally come to an end, the recent shocking episodes left fans fearing the worst for Bethany.
The shock relationship between Bethany Platt and Nathan so far
Bethany is in a relationship with a man almost twice her age – 35-year-old Nathan. Viewers have watched in disbelief as he showers her with gifts including a mobile phone and buys her alcohol.
On an episode aired last month Nathan took Bethany back to his flat for a party and the darker side of their relationship slowly emerged.
Prepping for the night Nathan encourages his younger girlfriend to, “Wear that sexy dress I saw on your profile picture, you look gorgeous in that.”
In a shock turn for the soap, in a later episode Bethany was raped at a house party. Vulnerable Bethany also faced a similarly gruelling ordeal at the hands of the ‘sex ring’ in further episodes.
Fans of the soap took to Twitter to express their surprise – and in some cases disgust – at the decision to play out these scenes on screen:
‘Surely #Corrie has to go post-watershed with this Bethany story-line, not for young viewing,’ one fan also posted.
Corrie’s shock storyline praised!
A spokesman for the NSPCC – who have been working with producers on the storyline – told the BBC:
“Soaps play an important part in highlighting abuse and in giving victims the courage to speak out.
“We hope it will raise awareness of the signs of grooming and encourage more victims to come forward and seek help.”
Barnardos have issued advice for those watching the storyline unfold. In their Be Safe Guide, Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardos says, “This storyline makes for difficult watching.”
“But it’s important as many people as possible are aware of the signs of grooming, so we can prevent this abuse happening.
“Like Bethany’s character, the young victims of this crime mistakenly think these child sex abusers care for them because they’re often showered with presents and attention.”
Actress Lucy Fallon, who plays Bethany in the soap, has also received widespread praise for her portrayal of the character and handling of the storyline.
Last month the actress told Lorraine Kelly the scenes had been “uncomfortable” to film.
But, she added:
“It’s so important for it to be on, especially at this time, because we’re targeting young viewers watching before watershed – it’s so important to target those people.”
Coronation Street producer Kate Oates told the BBC:
“Bethany’s story has been crafted over many months, to create an awareness for viewers about the dangers of grooming.
“Bethany’s story is a challenging watch, but we hope it will encourage open discussion amongst friends and families about self-esteem, confidence. And most importantly, safety.”
So, what do you think? Will you be tuning in to find out the dramatic end to Bethany’s shocking storyline? Let us know in the comments below!