‘Emmerdale’ left viewers stunned on Wednesday’s (4 January), by airing a shocking rape scene.
The episode saw Pierce Harris force himself on his partner Rhona Goskirk, refusing to listen when she did not consent to sex.
Unlike many other storylines, this one was not revealed before transmission, and as the soap airs at 7pm, bosses had to work carefully to create a scene that met Ofcom guidelines.
The incident took place shortly after Jonathan Wrather’s character proposed to Rhona, who was shellshocked by his suggestion of marriage.
When she explained that it was too soon, Pierce took the rejection badly and forced himself upon her.
The show then cut away to other scenes in the Woolpack before returning the couple, and while Pierce was carrying on as normal, Rhona looked visibly shaken by what had happened.
’Emmerdale’ executive producer Iain MacLeod previously hinted at what was to come, stating (via Digital Spy): “A lot of you out there have started to realise that Pierce is not the nice guy everyone seems to think he is.
“In his mind, he’s a normal guy, but we see a darker side to his personality come out much more obviously that puts Rhona in a difficult position and leaves her with a dilemma.
“Never far away from this story is Paddy - deep down he’s never going to stop loving Rhona, so when she faces a rough time, we have to wonder if he’s going to step in and what danger might he find himself in as a result?”
‘Emmerdale’ continues on ITV1 at 7pm. Catch up on all the latest soap news and spoilers here.
Useful helplines and websites:
- Victim Support - Visit victimsupport.org .uk or call 0808 168 9111 Sexual Abuse Referral Centres - Find a SARC
- Rape Crisis - Visit rapecrisis.org .uk or call 0808 802 9999 The Rape and Abuse Line - Visit rapeandabuseline.co.uk or call 0808 800 0123 (answered by women) or 0808 800 0122 (answered by men).