Corrie star Tina O’Brien’s alter ego Sarah Platt is currently in the thick of dealing with daughter Bethany’s grooming ordeal at the hands of Nathan Curtis.
As she tries to help Bethany cope with everything that’s happened, Sarah is making epic mistakes along the way, including inviting rapist Neil into her home and unwittingly giving him the opportunity to threaten Bethany again.
But as Sarah struggles to be the best mother she can, Tina says she’s also finding it tough as the storyline has opened her eyes to the dangers her kids face in real life.
Tina is mum to seven-year-old Scarlett who she shares with former Corrie co-star Ryan Thomas, and son Beau, who is two and whose father is Tina’s fiance Adam Crofts.
Speaking to The Mirror Online, she revealed: “As a mother you are always worried.
“The dangers for children are so much more complicated these days.
“All you can do is try and make sure your children talk to you about things.”
She added: “It is important not to shy away from keeping yourself up to date with what sort of dangers are out there and how to speak to your children about these issues.”
The actress went on to talk about just why the Bethany storyline is so important in getting kids talking.
“Children won’t necessarily listen to their parents if they try to bring up a subject like this, but if they see it on a TV show they are watching as a family it gets people chatting.
“Yes, it is a difficult watch sometimes but once Coronation Street had decided to explore it, they couldn’t do it half-heartedly.
“For every person complaining that they can’t watch it there are dozens more praising us for doing it and lots of parents saying it has really sparked conversation in their house.”
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It’s doing such a lot of good, but even Lucy Fallon, who plays Bethany, has said she was wary of taking on the plot at first.
“Kate Oates texted me last September and said she wanted me to come in for a chat,” Lucy revealed to The Sun’s Fabulous magazine.
“I was phoning my mum like: ‘What if she tells me she’s killing me off?’
“I was quite scared because I’ve only been on the show for two years, and even though I’ve had a lot of big storylines, this is the biggest and most controversial.”
But despite her reservations, Lucy admits her mind was eventually changed when she realised the level of research that would go into it and what an important topic it was to tackle.
“Once Kate spoke to me and we’d done quite a bit of research, I realised how important it was. Then I was excited – if that makes sense – to do the story justice for real people who have been affected by it.”