As the cobbles awoke to news of Aidan Connor’s tragic suicide in Coronation Street, it was veteran Gail Platt who delivered the most emotional moment of the episode with her tear-jerking monologue.
Watching Aidan’s dad Johnny Connor, played by Richard Hawley, howl desperately as he discovered his son’s body was heartbreaking enough.
But it was Gail’s profound words as she waited anxiously for the return of her own troubled son David Platt (Jack P Shepherd) that tipped everyone over the edge.
Gazing out of the window of 8 Coronation Street the mother of three, played by Helen Worth, reflected on Aidan’s secret agony how she hoped she could have been there for him if he had wanted to talk.
"Forty-odd years I’ve lived on this street. That same view every day. Practically know every cobble back to front," she said as her mum Audrey Roberts listened in silence.
"I like to think we look out for each other around here and without being nosey, know what’s going on in each other’s lives. But you don’t, do you?
"Not that I knew him that well. Just to say hello to really. But he was always polite with me, which is more than you can say for some folk.
"I hope I’d have listened if he ever wanted to speak to me, not that he would have done."
She continued: "I wonder when he did it? When I was reading the kids a bedtime story? When I was getting ready for bed?
"When I was having some toast this morning? Or was I sleeping, safe in here with the double glazing and the central heating thinking our problems are bigger than everybody else’s?
"Well, happen we’ve all been sleeping Mam.
"I can’t stop thinking about poor Johnny. His son’s not coming home tonight. I just hope to god mine is."
One fan tweeted: "Gail’s speech, so powerful."
And another said: "That was such a beautiful scene I am crying."
Tonight’s hour-long episode saw Johnny Connor discover his son, played by Shayne Ward, had taken his own life after he failed to open Underworld factory in the morning.
Aidan’s private hell led David to confront his own dark thoughts after being raped by Josh Tucker. After fleeing the car en route to court he later told his girlfriend Shona Ramsey about his ordeal.
Coronation Street has highlighted the important issue of male suicide with the heartbreaking storyline, working closely with charities Samaritans and CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably).
Samaritans (116 123) samaritans.org operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org , write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING, FK8 2SA and visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.
CALM (0800 58 58 58) thecalmzone.net has a helpline is for men who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. They’re open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year
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