06/03/2018 11:12 GMT

‘Coronation Street’ Spoilers: Jack P Shepherd Discusses Rape Storyline

'David’s decision to remain quiet because he feels ashamed is not uncommon.'

Jack P Shepherd has discussed an upcoming ‘Coronation Street’ storyline, which will see his character, David Platt, raped after a night out.

In scenes that will air next week, David’s boxing coach Josh Tucker (played by Ryan Clayton) will drug him and sexually assault him in his flat.

The storyline marks the first time ‘Coronation Street’ has tackled male rape, and the soap’s writers have worked with a local charity to ensure the topic is handled sensitively and appropriately.

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“When I was told about the storyline, [producer] Kate Oates and I met with Duncan from Survivors Manchester and that was when I realised the gravity and significance of the storyline,” Jack has now explained (via Radio Times). “David’s reaction and decision to remain quiet because he feels ashamed about what has happened is not uncommon.”

“David thinks he has made a new friend in Josh,” he continued. “He hasn’t really ever had a male friend and no male role models, because his dad is not around and Nick has moved away.

“He’s been trying to impress Josh with his training for the fight and he is enjoying his company. He has no reason to think Josh is anything other than a mate.”

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Jack has played David since 2000

Explaining why the soap has decided to air the storyline, producer Kate added: “We decided to cover the topic of male rape to help try and highlight the culture of silence that surrounds male sexual assault, and issues surrounding male mental health in general.

“Survivors Manchester have been so generous with their time and knowledge, working with Jack, Ryan and the team, and I’m in awe of the work they do.

“Over the next few weeks of ‘Corrie’, our message is to talk: it’s hard to speak out, but if you’re suffering in silence, there are people out there willing to listen and support you.”

Survivors Manchester previously worked with ‘Hollyoaks’ writers, when the Channel 4 soap aired two male rape storylines, the most recent being in 2014. 

Visit Survivors Manchester’s website here, or call their helpline (0161 236 2182) for support and information. 

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