Coronation Street's executive producer Iain MacLeod has confirmed that this December, Paul Foreman will, unfortunately, have his last Christmas on the cobbles as his terminal diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease will take its deadly toll.


Paul first noticed issues with his grip back in February and received his MND diagnosis in March. Over the months since, we have watched in anguish as Paul's condition has continued to deteriorate, but MacLeod has wanted to shed light on the terrible illness.

"The challenge with the storyline we're doing with Paul is, obviously there's this inevitable, medical progression; and we're taking great care to show that in as much detail as we can," said MacLeod.

Fortunately, Coronation Street offers MacLeod the opportunity to do so.

He added: "As a soap, we're in a position to do that, we're not a drama where you have 90 minutes to tell a two-year decline. You can show the day-to-day progression of illnesses like that with Paul."

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The steady decline has proved unbearable for Paul, with him going so far as to consider assisted suicide rather than subject himself and his loved ones to prolonged heartbreak, after watching his friend Shelly Rossington succumb to the same illness.

Mother Bernie and sister Gemma, along with her husband Chesney, have been providing care for Paul to help take the strain off his newly-wedded husband Billy Mayhew and adopted daughter, Summer Spellman.

As in real life, however, other problems don't magically disappear when confronted with devastating news.

Bernie rushes to help Paul.
Bernie rushes to help Paul. ITV

MacLeod continued: "Like we all have to do when we're ill, have to contend with catastrophes that have nothing to do with the illness at all."

With all the family together for the festive period, it doesn't take long for their storied and troubled past to resurface.

"This Christmas, the catastrophe arises from Bernie and her historical involvement with Shelly's slightly dubious online scamming and it puts her in a massive amount of legal hot water to the extent that there's every likelihood that she's not gonna be present for what will be Paul's last Christmas," said MacLeod.

MacLeod isn't quick to judge and offers a painfully realistic take on what the family are collectively going through: "They don't talk about it a lot because again, in reality, you might not, because it's too heartbreaking to consider."

But with Paul looking back on his life, there will be a lot of retrospection regarding the family too.

"There's a really fascinating exploration of their history as well... So what we've tried to do is make it bittersweet and realistic as far as we could, and kind of fitting, funny, but fairly poignant last Christmas for Paul, with that fantastic family at the centre of it all."

Paul has been part of Britain's longest-running soap opera since 2018 when he first appeared as David Platt's cellmate. In 2019, Paul was reintroduced to the show as Gemma Winter's twin brother who had taken the fall for after the accidental death of an elderly woman during a burglary.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association have been assisting the Corrie team in accurately representing how MND affects people and those around them, with a detailed breakdown of how his condition has changed over the months available on their website.

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