Note: This article contains discussion of suicide, which some readers may find upsetting.
Coronation Street star Richard Hawley has revealed a very personal connection to his current storyline.
The actor plays Johnny Connor in the ITV soap, who will find a suicide note and the body of his son Aidan Conner (Shayne Ward) after he tragically takes his own life in tonight’s (May 9) hour long special.
In a recent interview, Richard revealed his performance will pay tribute to men he knows who have dealt with similar suicides in real life, including father Dan Bridge who lost his teenage son Flyn.
“Through my own life I do have connections with the story and stories such as these,” Richard told The Mirror.
“I have a friend who I tried to honour through this performance. He went through a very similar story to this. But it is wider than that, this stuff is going on and on a repeated level.
“I have just got a sense of mission and wanted to do it well to honour the families of the fallen. I wanted us to do what we can to make a seismic change in our culture.
“I know it is going to be a harrowing watch and it is a dark story but it is a dark storyline that is trying to shine a light on something that is out there in the real world.”
Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.
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).
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Coronation Street spoilers, as the Connors struggle after Aidan’s death and Zeedan struggles to let Rana go.
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