Kym Marsh relives miscarriage heartbreak in Coronation Street storyline
Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh is to confront her own miscarriage as part of a new storyline in the hit soap.
The 40-year-old, who plays Michelle Connor, lost son Archie after 21 weeks in 2009.
The ITV soap will tackle the topic in the new year with Michelle losing her baby with long-term partner Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) after 23 weeks as Marsh attempts to raise awareness of the issues surrounding late miscarriage.
The actress said she thought "long and hard" about taking on the storyline and discussed it with family and friends.
It explores how the death affects both the parents and the extended family.
Marsh said: "It is obviously a cause very close to my heart, having lost my beautiful Archie at 21 weeks and 5 days.
"In the end I felt it was an important story to tell in order to raise awareness of something which affects thousands of women every year.
"I have had to go to some very dark places in my mind whilst filming these heartbreaking scenes but my family, friends and colleagues have been incredible. Losing a child is something that never leaves you so to revisit those feelings as Michelle has been challenging.
"Coronation Street ensured that I had a counsellor on set at all times to go to after filming the scenes but for me the best tonic after a hugely emotional day was to go home to my kids and be reminded of how lucky I am to have them."
She added she was "proud" of the scenes they had filmed.
Corrie worked with charities Sillbirth and Sands on the episode which will air in the week beginning January 9.
Miscarriages affect 200,000 couples a year, according to Sands, with most pregnancies ending in the first 12 weeks.
Coronation Street producer Kate Oates said she hoped the programme is "able to encourage discussion, understanding and compassion for those viewers affected by the loss of a baby".
Bereavement specialist at the charity Erica Stewart said: " The death of a baby is rarely talked about. Many people shy away from the issue, others have a misconception that this is a thing of the past.
"We hope that, with a TV drama as popular as Coronation Street covering this heart breaking experience, it will help to lift the taboo, and raise awareness of all the issues that surround the death of a baby."