Actor Chris Harper visited victims of the Rotherham scandal to prepare for Corrie's grooming storyline and he was surprised by their reaction...
Coronation Street actor Chris Harper has said some of the girls in the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal started singing and dancing when they heard the ITV soap would be tackling grooming.
The actor, 39, met with abuse victims as he prepared for the storyline in which his character Nathan Curtis dupes schoolgirl Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) into a relationship and starts pimping her out to his friends.
He said on This Morning: “I’ve met some incredibly strong people. Some of the girls from the Rotherham case, for example.
“When they found out that Corrie were going to do the story they did this dance in front of me. I was there at a charity thing and they went, (singing) ‘Corrie are doing grooming, Corrie are doing grooming’.
“Because they are used to just being splashed across tabloid headlines.
“Or ignored or labelled.
“And what has happened through Corrie, but also through the fantastic work the NSPCC are doing, and Barnardo’s, it is really pushing this as a big problem we’ve got across the country.”
Chris said he has had a lot of backing from people affected by the issues being dealt with on the programme.
“The community that’s out there for people who are victims or survivors, however they label themselves, is very very warm and very very supportive,” he said.
Next week’s Corrie will show Bethany’s situation take an even darker turn when Nathan manipulates her into making a commitment to him.
Chris, who is now an ambassador for sexual abuse charity Voicing CSA, said the schoolgirl is ‘going to be entering a very dark place’.