Warning: This article contains discussion of suicide, which some readers may find upsetting.
Coronation Street aired one of the most emotional and haunting episodes in its history on Wednesday evening (May 9), as news of Aidan Connor’s suicide affected almost everyone on the cobbles.
As fans dry their tears after the deeply affecting watch, we’re rounding up nine reasons why this episode was one of the show’s biggest-ever triumphs.
1. The message
Coronation Street‘s current producer Kate Oates is known for her skill at interweaving separate story strands, and the latest example was possibly her best yet. While much of Wednesday’s hour-long special focused on how the tragic loss of Aidan affected the Connors, show bosses always planned to give David Platt the last word.
After being knocked for six by news of Aidan’s death, David finally opened up over his inner turmoil, telling Shona Ramsey the truth about his rape ordeal and how he wrestled with his own suicidal thoughts in the aftermath.
The Corrie team are keen to spread the message that talking about our problems can help and there’s always someone there to listen. After unburdening himself with Shona and feeling uplifted by her strong show of support, David admitted: “I came so close. But I’ve told you and I love you so much. And if today’s taught me anything it’s that, thank God, I want to live.”
Corrie aired Wednesday’s outing as an hour-long special, without the usual half-hour break, to make sure that viewers didn’t miss their key message at the end of the episode. It’s simple and effective, but one that could save lives.
2. The performances
Coronation Street‘s cast brought their A-game to the aftermath scenes as news of Aidan’s death spread among his family and then around the rest of the Street too.
Catherine Tyldesley (Eva), Richard Hawley (Johnny), Faye Brookes (Kate), Alison King (Carla), Kym Marsh (Michelle) and Samia Longchambon (Maria) gave particularly moving performances as their characters all grieved for Aidan in their own ways, while Jack P Shepherd continued to do amazing work as David.
Those most closely involved were also ably supported by the likes of David Neilson (Roy), Sally Ann Matthews (Jenny), Georgia Taylor (Toyah), Tristan Gemmill (Robert) and the Street’s rising star Julia Goulding (Shona).