Shayne Ward’s Coronation Street tenure will come to an end on Monday evening as his character, Aidan Connor, takes his own life.
The soap is raising awareness of male suicide – described as a silent epidemic – with the former X Factor winner’s final scenes airing as part of a double-bill episode.
In Friday night’s episode, Aidan was seen carrying out good deeds for his neighbours, including giving his watch to Liam Connor Jr, buying a new dress for Summer Spellman and planning to return the engagement ring to his former fiancee Eva Price.
If you need some support, remember that you can call us free, any time, on 📱 116 123 📧 email@example.com pic.twitter.com/rACLmfSmiT— Samaritans (@samaritans) April 26, 2018
Although Monday is Ward’s final appearance on screen, an hour-long broadcast on Wednesday will show the impact of his death on the show’s characters.
Aidan’s father Johnny will discover his son’s body in his flat after he fails to turn up to work at the Underworld factory.
As the news of his death spreads around Weatherfield, Aidan’s friends and family begin to question why they had not noticed any signs that he was struggling to cope with problems in his life.
TONIGHT: Maria goes round to Aidanâs to collect Liam and is surprised to see Evaâs engagement ring on the side...— Coronation Street (@itvcorrie) May 4, 2018
Tap for #TeamCorrie 👉 https://t.co/KGurmGnb1z#Corrie #Aidan #Maria #Liam #CoronationStreet pic.twitter.com/fCqmsbevqO
Ward has described Wednesday night’s episode as “a very tough watch”.
The ITV soap has been working closely with charities Samaritans and Calm to ensure the storyline was handled sensitively and realistically, and it has been made clear that no scenes depicting the suicide will air.
Coronation Street producer Kate Oates said: “With 84 men taking their lives each week, we simply can’t afford to not talk about it.”
Ward joined the ITV show in 2015 – a decade on from his X Factor win.
Corrie airs at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on Monday on ITV.