Coronation Street confirms Max Turner to be groomed by extremists
The storyline will examine how extremist groups target, groom and operate.
Coronation Street has announced a radicalisation storyline, which will see Max Turner (Paddy Bever) groomed by a far-right gang.
The ITV soap will be exploring the issue of the grooming of disenfranchised and impressionable young men into far-right extremism in the controversial storyline, examining how extremist groups target, groom and operate.
In upcoming scenes, Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) confronts eco activist Griff (Michael Condron) and his gang when he discovers the band they've invited him to watch are playing racist songs.
Toyah, meanwhile, unaware that Spider is an undercover cop who has infiltrated the gang to expose their activity, confronts Spider about the company he is keeping.
Max's journey into radicalisation begins the following week, when Griff turns his attention to the teenager and defends him from school bullies, before inviting him to a Halloween party at his house.
In the coming months, Max rapidly falls under Griff and the gang's spell, who harness the teenager's video and computer skills to spread their racist propaganda.
Speaking about the storyline, Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod said: "Overall, Max's story is one about the grooming of a vulnerable teenager at a point where he's feeling most alienated and disenfranchised.
"The story will encompass the 'traditional' recruitment techniques of extremists groups, and we'll see Max befriended in person by older, mentor-like figures that will give him a sense of loyalty and brotherhood."
He added: “Then, later in the story, we will explore a very 21st century problem: teenagers self-radicalising through watching extreme content online. In the end, we wanted this to be a story about communication within families - what are the right and wrong ways to talk to younger family members who are gravitating towards extreme views?
"For the conclusion of the story, David's misjudged attempts to deal with Max will drive the narrative to a shocking and thought-provoking climax."
Counter Terrorism Policing’s senior national coordinator Tim Jacques said: “Coronation Street has a long history of raising awareness of challenging issues that sit at the heart of communities across the UK. Sadly, the terrorist threat remains one of those very real concerns.
More like this
“Our casework shows that children and young people are vulnerable to radicalisation and are increasingly being drawn into toxic ideologies through online spaces and platforms.
“We hope Max’s story will help to highlight why it’s so important to get support or advice if you’re worried someone you love is taking a dangerous path. It really doesn’t have to be that way.”
If you are concerned that someone you know might be being radicalised, you are not alone. There is advice and support available via www.actearly.uk. If you’ve seen or heard something that could potentially be related to terrorism, trust your instincts and report it. Your actions could save lives. Report via www.gov.uk/ACT or call 0800 789 321.
Visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.
The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast.