Belfast Telegraph

Coronation Street's Lucy Fallon moved to tears by sexual exploitation victims' praise

The 21-year-old actress stars in the ITV soap as Bethany Platt, who has been groomed by her older fiance Nathan Curtis, played by Chris Harper, and forced to sleep with him and his friends.

Lucy Fallon has been moved to tears by the praise she has received from victims of sexual exploitation after starring in a hard-hitting grooming storyline on Coronation Street.

The 21-year-old actress stars in the ITV soap as Bethany Platt, who has been groomed by her older fiance Nathan Curtis, played by Chris Harper, and forced to sleep with him and his friends.

The plot has attracted its fair share of criticism, but has also been praised by those who have experienced similar situations - and that's something Lucy will forever be proud of.

"I went to Manchester to put some flowers down at St Ann’s Square (following the Manchester Arena bombing) and a lady of about 60 came and tapped me on the shoulder and said 'Can I just whisper something to you?'" Lucy told the Press Association. "I thought she was just going to say that she really likes Corrie, but she said 'I was sexually abused by my dad when I was younger'... she got really upset and said she really appreciated what I had done.

"It makes me feel really proud when people say stuff like that."

The storyline will reach new extremes in Friday night’s episode (02Jun17), broadcast at the later time of 9pm, when Bethany is forced into a situation which sees her having sexual relations with a number of men.

Lucy does her best to switch off after filming the scenes, but admits that starring in such traumatic storylines does take its toll.

"We do the difficult scenes very quickly and I get to go home after," she said. "I have a long drive home and I listen to music, but you can’t completely switch off just like that.

"It has been hard and all the crying scenes are tiring, but when you realise it does actually happen to people, acting it is nothing. For me it isn’t real and I get to go home and have a normal life, whereas those people don’t."

While viewers have mostly praised Coronation Street for addressing what is seen by many as something of a taboo subject, others haven't appreciated the plot.

Several took to Twitter after Thursday night's episode, which saw Bethany sitting on a bed surrounded by a group of older men, with the door closing forming the end scene of the programme, to complain about the hard-hitting nature of the show.

"@itvcorrie how can you broadcast this storyline in this much detail @Ofcom please help our children watch this!!!! #coronationstreet," one wrote.

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