Coronation Street producer Kate Oates has revealed that the soap’s current grooming storyline is to take a number of risks as it enters even darker territory.
“This is a storyline that treads a fine line. It’s a challenging watch and we push some boundaries with it as it progresses,” the Corrie boss said.
Talking to the BBC’s Front Row about how soaps deal with social issues, Oates also revealed how further light will be shone on manipulative Nathan’s history with cohort Mel:
“Nathan has a co-conspirator called Mel, who we learn is somebody who has been in Bethany’s position. We see the kind of violence and trauma that she’s suffered from and is still scarred by.
“So that helps us open a door on the kind of problems that Bethany might face. She’s a character who was brought in and groomed as Bethany is being now.”
Viewers have already seen Bethany become unwittingly embroiled in Nathan’s scheme, with the vulnerable teen having been promised to one of her boyfriend’s friends once she’s “ready”.
Speaking about the fact that Coronation Street airs before the watershed and the responsibilities she therefore has to her audience, Oates added:
“Because we’re mindful of being a show watched by families, we can’t push those boundaries too far. But we want to encourage discussion.
“It’s an important topic and a dark topic. It’s challenging, but not talking about it doesn’t make it go away.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
And visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.