ENTERTAINMENT
30/04/2018 22:33 BST

'Coronation Street': Shayne Ward's Exit To Be Male Suicide Storyline

Viewers will see Johnny Connor discover that his son, Aidan, has taken his own life.

‘Coronation Street’ is set to air a suicide storyline next week, when Aidan Connor (played by Shayne Ward) takes his own life. 

Viewers will see Aidan’s dad, Johnny, discover his son’s suicide at the beginning of an hour-long episode, airing on Wednesday 9 May. No element of the death will be shown on screen. 

The ‘Coronation Street’ writing team have worked with the Samaritans and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on the storyline, to ensure that the topic is handled sensitively and appropriately. 

ITV
Shayne joined the soap in 2015

Discussing his exit, Shayne said: “Aidan is an ‘everyman’ figure, he is someone men can identify with, which is important in telling this story. We hope that anyone who recognises something of themselves in Aidan, will realise they can, and really should, talk about how they’re feeling.

“Talking could have helped Aidan to turn his life around. It could have brought him relief from what he was going through. This is what his loved ones would have wanted. Suicide is a very permanent response to what are usually temporary problems.

“We all know someone who has maybe felt like Aidan did, someone who found it hard to talk and we have all heard stories like Aidan’s when it was too late, when people looked back and wished they had spotted the signs, but it isn’t always possible.

“If we can encourage someone who is feeling low, who is having the sort of thoughts Aidan was having, to realise they need to talk, then we have achieved what we set out to with this story.”

ITV
Johnny will discover the body, which will not be shown to viewers 

Emphasising ITV’s hopes for the storyline, ‘Corrie’ producer Kate Oates added: “Through this story, we want to assure anyone who feels suicidal that there is always someone who wants to listen and support you: whether a friend, family member, or one of the brilliant charities we have been working with throughout this story.

“We want to tell people that however bleak they are feeling, there is always another way.”

In the hour-long episode, viewers will see Aidan’s family attempting to process the news, with Johnny, Carla and Kate Connor all reacting differently. 

News of Aidan’s death also reaches other Weatherfield residents, including Maria Connor, Eva Price, the Platt family, Robert Preston and Daniel Osbourne. 

Shayne’s final scene will air on Monday 7 May, two days before Johnny discovers Aidan’s death. Viewers will see Aidan alone in his flat, having returned from visiting Eva and spending time with his family. 

Ruth Sutherland, the CEO of Samaritans, said: “Soaps can play an incredibly powerful role in increasing people’s awareness and understanding of difficult issues.

“Viewers will see the devastating impact of suicide and the effect that it has on families – it’s never the case that others would be better off without you. 

ITV
Aidan will visit Eva hours before taking his own life 

“By illustrating the dangers of staying silent when it feels like life’s challenges are overwhelming, we hope others who are struggling will be encouraged to reach out for support. And, if viewers are worried about someone else, we hope it will inspire them to be brave and open up a conversation.

“You won’t make things worse, but you could start that person on the road to recovery.”

With producer Kate Oates at the helm, ‘Corrie’ has tackled a number of hard-hitting storylines and their recent male rape storyline sparked a 1700% increase in calls to Survivors Manchester, an organisation which helps boys and men affected by sexual assault. 

Speaking over the weekend, before the details of his exit were revealed, Shayne said he “bawled like a baby” while filming his final scene

“I had a bit of a breakdown when I filmed my final scene. It’s one of Corrie’s most shocking exits,” he said

Former ‘X Factor’ star Shayne became a huge hit with fans when he joined the soap in 2015 and subsequently won the Best Soap Newcomer prize at the 2016 National Television Awards.

Some of his most memorable storylines have centred on Aidan’s relationship with Eva Price and more recently, the character donated a kidney to Carla Connor.

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
Photo galleryMost Memorable Soap Exits See Gallery