Daily Express

Stephen Lawrence mum aids Corrie racism plot

- By

Nicola Methven

CORONATION Street is to address racism in a new storyline devised with the help of Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

The plot sees the Bailey family referred to as monkeys by the new manager of the Bistro.

In shocking scenes to air next week, Ed finds himself on the receiving end of the racist name calling by Don, who is overseeing the refurbishm­ent being carried out by him and his son Michael.

The Bistro manager, played by Philip Broadbent, decides he is unhappy with their building skills, and mutters: “You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

When Ed shrugs off the abuse – which Don believes to be jokey banter – Michael and his brother James are left both stunned and baffled by their dad’s attitude.

The racism comes to a head at the opening party of the Bistro when Don directs his comments at the rest of the Bailey family – and Ed finally snaps.

Baroness Lawrence, mother of race-hate murder victim Stephen, acted as a script adviser on the storyline and visited the set to

Adviser...Doreen Lawrence, centre, on set with the Bailey family

see key scenes filmed – before filming halted because of coronaviru­s.

The main episode was due to transmit on Stephen Lawrence Day, April 22, but was pushed back by the lockdown, which saw Coronation Street go down to three episodes a week rather than six.

Corrie boss Iain MacLeod said the aim was to examine the generation­al difference in dealing with the comments.

He said: “We thought it was interestin­g to explore the subtleties and nuances of that and the Baileys’ differing reactions to the racism they’re experienci­ng.”

He said that the result was “powerful and truthful” – thanks to some “spine-tingling” performanc­es from the Bailey family, played by Trevor Michael Georges, Lorna Laidlaw, Ryan Russell and Nathan Graham.

The storyline will also explore how Don’s attitude makes Ed think long and hard about his own prejudices against his son James’ homosexual­ity.

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