This article includes discussions of terminal illness that some readers may find upsetting.


Paul Foreman (Peter Ash) made another emotional decision in tonight's heartbreaking instalment of Coronation Street (22nd March 2024).

The character was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease almost a year ago, and his condition has been deteriorating rapidly, leading Paul to declare that when he feels the time is right, he wants to die on his own terms.

His devastated husband Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) eventually agreed to help Paul, rather than allow him to end his own life too soon while he still had use of his only working hand. But ever since that moment, Billy has been terrified of discussing anything that might make Paul choose to leave him any sooner.

So when new carer Hannah struggled to understand Paul, who had began slurring his words, Billy played down the whole situation. Summer Spellman (Harriet Bibby) urged Billy to be honest, as it's what Paul wants.

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But tonight, Billy broke down and admitted that he couldn't bear to raise the subject of Paul's slurred speech, because Paul wants to take his own life once his illness becomes unbearable.

Summer was broken by this news, and Paul was angry when he arrived home in time to discover what Billy had told her.

Later, Paul, Summer and Billy joined Paul's twin sister Gemma Winter-Brown (Dolly-Rose Campbell) for karaoke at The Rovers, where Paul insisted that he and Billy were due to sing Stand By Me.

The couple received applause; but Paul was upset to watch his performance back and hear what he now sounded like, unimpressed that no one had told him earlier.

Paul asked Gemma to accompany him back home, where he accepted that he needed to get on with recording messages for his loved ones before he could no longer use his voice.

Just as Paul was recording his final goodbye message to Billy, Summer and Billy rushed in, having heard and panicked that Paul was ending his life there and then.

Paul assured them this wasn't the case, and insisted that he wouldn't carry out his plan without telling Summer, convincing her to accept the chance to study abroad.

Alone with Billy, Paul acknowledged just how tough things were for his other half. Paul then explained that he had come up with a signal so that Billy would know when Paul was ready to go: he would play their wedding song Oh Happy Day.

It was a bittersweet moment as Paul added that the track reflected the happiest day of his life, and he told Billy that, if Billy's views on the afterlife were correct, he would be happy and out of pain the day he died.

Next week, Paul learns that he can no longer eat solid food and struggles to come to terms with another devastating change in his life.

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.

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