Coronation Street aired Aidan Connor’s death by suicide last night, and in an episode full of powerful performances and tearjerking moments many fans declared Gail Platt’s moving monologue following the tragic news over a montage of cobbles residents’ reactions as the highlight of the emotional edition.
As the street reeled from Johnny Connor discovering his son’s body in his flat, Gail was dealing with her own worries as her troubled offspring David went missing on the day he was due in court for his assault trial, unaware of his private struggle over his recent rape ordeal.
Staring out of her window as her mum Audrey Roberts watched on, Gail delivered a speech reflecting on the news about Aidan and how she hoped she could have offered support if he had chosen to speak up about his secret agony.
“Forty-odd years I’ve lived on this street,” she began. “Practically know every cobble back to front… I like to think we look out for each other around here and without being nosey, know what’s going on in each other’s lives. But you don’t, do you?”
A silent montage showing the devastating impact of Aidan’s death on various characters played as Gail continued, encapsulating her feelings on the community she’s been a part of for decades and how the news affected her own perspective on David’s disappearance.
“I can’t stop thinking about poor Johnny. His son’s not coming home tonight. I just hope to god mine is.”
"I like to think we look out for each other round here, and without being nosy know what's going on in each other's lives… ""But you don't, do you."You are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, support and information is available at: itv.com/advice
Fans took to social media to praise the moment, written by Jonathan Harvey, with the voiceover and montage breaking from the usual realistic format of the show, with some calling it one of the best scenes the soap has ever shown and applauding Corrie veteran Helen Worth for her sensitive performance as Gail.
Whoever wrote Gail's speech deserves an award. That was something else. So haunting, so beautiful and so true #Corrie
Corrie tonight was unbelievably hard to watch, but I am so so so glad that they choose to focus on such an important and difficult subject. Gail’s speech describing how mental health suicide impacts everyone deserves all the awards. Never seen this portrayed so well
Have finally caught up with tonight’s #corrie. A truly outstanding episode in every way, but the absolute high point for me was Gail’s speech – Helen Worth always shines in these really dramatic moments.
Corrie consulted many charities and organisations including the Samaritans in researching Aidan’s suicide storyline to ensure the topic was handled respectfully and not sensationalised. Producer Kate Oates said: “Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in this country. With 84 men taking their lives each week, we quite simply can’t afford not afford not to talk about it.
“Aidan’s story is designed to give people who hide their feelings of desperation a chance to start a conversation letting someone know what they’re going through. We want to assure anyone who feels suicidal that there is always someone who wants to listen and support you.”