Coronation Street is going tackle the difficult issue of child-parent domestic abuse in a bold new storyline, ITV bosses have confirmed. The plot will centre around Leanne Tilsley, played by Jane Danson, who will be on the receiving end of violent attacks by her stepson Simon Barlow in episodes that will be aired over the summer months.
The soap's producer Stuart Blackburn announced the news during a special recording on This Morning. "This summer is going to see Coronation Street at its classic best," he said. "It's going to be a mixture of romance, of comedy and of drama.
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Leanne Tilsley and Simon Barlow will be the focus of a domestic abuse storyline
Out of that drama, Leanne Battersby is going to find herself at the centre of a domestic abuse story. But this is a story with a twist. The perpetrator is Leanne's 12-year-old stepson Simon."
Leanne has been Simon's sole guardian ever since his father Peter Barlow left Weatherfield to start a new life in Portsmouth at the end of 2014. The storyline will give both Leanne and 13-year-old Alex Bain, who has played Simon since 2008, a chance to showcase their talent; Alex won the Best Young Performance award at the British Soap Awards in 2011 for his portrayal of the troubled youngster.
Meanwhile, in other exciting Corrie news, Sam Bailey has revealed her plans to land a role on the ITV soap. In a recent interview with the Manchester Evening News, the X Factor winner said she had even picked out the type of character she'd like to play – someone similar to Fiz Stape, played by Jennie McAlpine.
Sam Bailey has revealed she would love a role in Coronation Street
"I'd play a New Age Fiz! I'd have to play someone funny, I don't think my other half would be able to cope with me snogging people as an actress or being all sexy! So yes, I'd like to be a New Age Fiz, with a right dope as my boyfriend," she said.
The star admitted she would love to diversify from music into acting and said she had been getting tips from famous friends like EastEnders star Danny Dyer and Coronation Street's Hayley Tamaddon.
"I'd love a role in any soap. I think it's about time someone from The X Factor went on a soap," Sam added. "For me, doing a show like a soap would just be really great. I'm a bit of a closet actress, I used to do extra work, and I've got a good group of friends in the business."