ENTERTAINMENT
06/05/2018 09:27 BST | Updated 06/05/2018 09:28 BST

‘Coronation Street’: Catherine Tyldesley Says Aidan Connor Male Suicide Is 'The Most Important Story To Tell'

The scenes will air this week.

Catherine Tyldesley has spoken out about Shayne Ward’s ‘Coronation Street’ exit, praising the soap for tackling the topic of male suicide.

Viewers will see Aidan Connor’s last scenes on Monday (7 May), as Wednesday’s (9 May) hour-long episode will see it revealed that the character has taken his own life, when Johnny discovers the body.

Prior to ending his own life, Aidan visits his ex Eva Price and works out the truth about Toyah’s baby, which is biologically his and Eva’s.

ITV

Filming the scenes was understandably tough and Catherine, who will also leave the soap later this year, has said that “it’s definitely the most important storyline we could be telling”.

“This narrative began a year ago,” she explained. “And to work on such an important story before I leave ‘Coronation Street’ is a privilege and an honour.

“The scenes asked for Eva to cry, but I didn’t have to try. I replayed all the scenes we had ever played together in my head, all the wedding scenes, the lovely moments between Eva and Aidan and the tears just flowed.

“I enjoyed working with Shayne so much and I had all those memories to draw on. The way the journey has been structured is compelling and I didn’t have to try and dig for those emotions, because they were already there.

“The scripts are beautifully written and it wasn’t difficult to feel the emotion that Eva was feeling.”

ITV Pictures
Eva is devastated by Aidan's death

Shayne previously spoke out about the plot, stating that it’s one of Corrie’s “most shocking exits ever”.

While Aidan’s suicide may seem out of the blue, the show’s writers have been laying the groundwork for the storyline for months.

Speaking at a press conference last week, producer Kate Oates told HuffPost UK and other reporters that one scene will, retrospectively, be of great significance.

“There was an episode some time ago when Carla [Connor] said to Aidan and Kate, ‘I’m not very well and I might need a kidney transplant, you’re my best chance’,” she said. “The next day, Aidan went and intercepted a letter at Johnny’s house.

“As writers and storytellers, we’d got ourselves to a point which was that he was planning on [ending his life] that night, and he decided not to, he decided to hang on for Carla. It doesn’t mean he was better or ‘sorted’, just that he decided to hang on that little bit longer.

“Within that period of story, between him deciding to hang on and the episodes you’ve just seen [relating to Aidan’s suicide], we see moments of hope and moments of going back down, all skillfully, subtextually played by Shayne.”

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk
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