Shayne Ward has spoken of drawing on personal tragedy of losing a loved one to suicide to portray his character Aidan’s death in Coronation Street.
Next Wednesday the Connor family will be devastated to discover Aidan has taken his own life, after leaving a goodbye letter.
Shayne, who has been with the soap for three years, told The Sun he drew on “an honest truth” from his private life.
“I think a lot of people know someone, a friend or someone in their family or hearing of someone who has taken their own life,” he said.
“In my personal experience I’ve had people in my family attempt and also someone in my family unfortunately took their own life.
“So for me, I just drew upon an honest truth and how I would feel in that situation.”
Read more: Mental health charities praise Corrie
As news broke of the devastating storyline last night, Shayne said in an official statement from Corrie: “I am honoured to have been trusted with a storyline like this, it shows the confidence that Kate and the team had in me to be able to play it.
“When you get given a storyline like this it is a decision that is not taken lightly, I have played it with as much honesty and truth as I could.
“I am very proud of what I have done in my three years on the show and on this storyline in particular.
“Aidan is an ‘everyman’ figure, he is someone men can identify with, which is important in telling this story.
“We hope that anyone who recognises something of themselves in Aidan, will realise they can, and really should, talk about how they’re feeling.
“Talking could have helped Aidan to turn his life around. It could have brought him relief from what he was going through. This is what his loved ones would have wanted.
“Suicide is a very permanent response to what are usually temporary problems.
“We all know someone who has maybe felt like Aidan did, someone who found it hard to talk and we have all heard stories like Aidan’s when it was too late, when people looked back and wished they had spotted the signs, but it isn’t always possible.
“If we can encourage someone who is feeling low, who is having the sort of thoughts Aidan was having, to realise they need to talk, then we have achieved what we set out to with this story.”
Shayne’s character will be seen for the final time on Monday evening, as he visits Eva to apologise for his behaviour, then attends a family celebration, before returning alone to his flat.
If you are struggling with depression or suicidal ideation, or are concerned about a loved one, please contact Samaritans free on 116 123 for support and advice.