Coronation Street has announced a hard-hitting storyline which will play out in the coming weeks and months involving Paul Foreman (played by Peter Ash).


The beloved character has been suffering from some issues with his hand following an accident, but in tonight's episode (24th March), Paul is told he likely has the life-shortening disease. The diagnosis will be confirmed on screen later this month.

Motor neurone disease is a fatal and rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. There is no cure for it and it kills on average six people a day in the UK.

The disease attacks the nerves that control movement, so those suffering from the condition are locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk, and eventually breathe.

Coronation Street has been working with the MND Association on this storyline which will play out on screen for months.

Paul hears shocking news in Coronation Street
Peter Ash as Paul Foreman in Coronation Street. ITV

Speaking about taking on the challenging plot, Ash said: "Paul is completely blindsided by the diagnosis and he decides to keep it from his family and friends as he tries to come to terms with the news.

"I knew very little about MND before embarking on the storyline and I am hugely grateful to the MND Association for all their help and support.

"For any actor playing a role which examines a real life issue or condition there comes a huge sense of responsibility and we are aware that some people watching this storyline are experiencing it in reality, it is their life.

"Awareness and education are really important. I have learned so much even in the short time I have been involved in this storyline. We hope Paul's journey can make people more aware of the symptoms and what it is like for someone to live with MND."

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Corrie producer Iain Macleod said: "Motor Neurone Disease is something that many people might have heard of but perhaps don't know a lot about, even given the recent cases of public figures talking about their experiences of living with the condition.

"A show like Coronation Street is uniquely placed to show the day-to-day reality of dealing with an illness that gradually and progressively erodes the physical attributes that you perhaps take for granted, changing forever the way you interact with the world around you.

"At first, Paul - who as a builder, relies entirely on his physicality for his livelihood - will massively go off the rails in a misplaced bid to ensure he isn’t a burden on his loved ones. But in the end, they will be the ones to put him back together emotionally.

"We are committed to portraying in a long-term, sensitive way the effects of this condition on Paul and his family and friends, not shying away from the sometimes painful reality of what his life will be like.

"We have been privileged to work with the Motor Neurone Disease Association - including talking to people who have the condition and their families - to ensure we do justice to people's real-life experiences."

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MND Association's director of external affairs Chris James said of the storyline: "We are really grateful to the team at Coronation Street for choosing to tackle this difficult subject.

"Putting MND in front of millions of viewers every week will raise incredible awareness and help educate people who have never come across this disease – showing the day to day reality for those living with it and the impact on their families, friends and neighbours too.

"The Coronation Street team has been incredibly responsible when considering storylines, scenarios and scripts, spending a lot of time talking to us and members of the MND community to ensure the on-screen portrayal of MND is realistic, sympathetic and sensitive."

For information and support on all aspects of motor neurone disease, visit the MND Association's website or call the charity on 0808 802 6262.

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 and Streaming Guide.


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