Coronation Street continues to explore the fallout of David Platt’s rape next week when he violently lashes out at the charity boxing match and almost kills Gary Windass.
Since Josh Tucker assaulted him earlier this month, traumatised David has stayed silent about his ordeal and has become completely withdrawn and prone to extreme mood swings. Having callously dumped girlfriend Shona Ramsey, his behaviour is spiralling out of control.
Next Monday it’s the day of the charity boxing match in memory of Luke Britton, but despite being told he can’t participate because of his epilepsy David insists on taking Tyrone Dobbs’s place when he’s forced to pull out. Stepping into the ring, destructive David unleashes weeks of pent-up aggression against opponent Gary Windass and knocks him out, putting him in hospital with a bleed on the brain.
Blaming Josh for his outburst and threatening to report the rape, David’s attacker sneers as he manipulates his victim into saying nothing. As David descends into a breakdown while Gary recovers, Shona tries to get through to her ex and suspects he’s hooked on steroids.
With the aftermath of the controversial male rape plot set to continue, Ryan Clayton, who plays Josh, reveals how his character reacts to next week’s developments.
How is Josh feeling about the boxing match he’s organised? He is looking forward to it as it is a chance for him to get closer to the rest of the street, particularly Alya. The more involved he is with the community, the more chance that if anyone speaks badly about him then people are not going to believe it, so it’s very tactical.
What happens when Tyrone pulls out of the event at the last minute? It’s the first time people see a different side to Josh. The calm, jokey, jovial lad flips out because the stress of organising the boxing and what has happened with David gets to him.
What’s his reaction when David suggests he takes Tyrone’s place?
Josh loses his rag at him. He doesn’t want David anywhere near this event, epilepsy or not, so he is very dismissive.
Is Josh worried David will tell someone about the rape?
There is an inner turmoil definitely but he is always just trying not to let his mask slip. Josh is getting sick of David making threats about the police and he’s concerned he’s broken up with Shona because he needs him to pull it together and stop being so volatile. Josh wants David to hush up about what happened because he doesn’t want to leave the street, he likes it there.
How does Josh feel when David beats up Gary?
Josh is revelling in it because this is more ammo for him to prove that David is full of rubbish if anything ever comes out. If David is the type of person to do that then he is obviously unhinged.
What is going through Josh’s mind a few weeks on from the rape?
I have spoken to Duncan from Survivors Manchester about the traits rapists tend to have, obviously everyone is different but there are familiar manipulation games those kind of people play that are common throughout lots of cases. Josh’s objective for the assault was clear – he just wanted sex and that’s what he got. But now there is a lot of manipulation going on, which is a harder head space to get into as an actor.
What is your reaction to the impact of the storyline so far?
Around 9,000 men are raped every year – how often is that story told? It’s an underfunded, under represented and unspoken about issue. It needs to be seen as something that doesn’t just happen to gay men or only in prison. It’s not that there are a lot of misconceptions – there is no conception in the first place. It’s not spoken about.
Have you found it difficult to portray?
I was totally on board from the start as I thought it’s a story that needs to be represented, and although there have been times when I have been playing scenes and it has been tough I’ve never had a problem with the storyline. I hope it raises awareness.