Sex with teacher is ‘ev­ery boy’s dream’

Fury at Em­merdale star’s tweet on child groom­ing sto­ry­line

Sunday Mirror - - KHAN SAIRA - BY JA­NINE YAQOOB TV Ed­i­tor

EM­MERDALE vet­eran Chris Chit­tell has con­tro­ver­sially called the show’s child groom­ing sto­ry­line a “young man’s dream”.

The vet­eran ac­tor – TV’s Eric Pol­lard – was com­ment­ing about scenes show­ing a woman teacher groom­ing and kiss­ing a boy pupil aged 15.

Chris, 70, wrote on his per­sonal Twit­ter page: “Come on it’s a young man’s dream, okay okay I know, be­have et bloody ce­tra! Don’t they ‘play’ it well!! Con­vinc­ing don’t you think!!!!.”

The com­ment was even liked by his co-star Bhasker Pa­tel, 62, who plays Rishi Sharma.

But it caused fury among crit­ics who feared Chris has stepped out of line.

In re­cent weeks, view­ers of the ITV saga have seen teacher Maya Step­ney, played by Louisa Clein, 39, grow close to Ja­cob Gal­lagher, alias ac­tor Joe-War­ren Plant, 16. Em­merdale has been work­ing closely with chil­dren’s char­ity Barnardo’s on the sto­ry­line and young sur­vivors of sex­ual abuse have ad­vised ac­tors and pro­duc­ers.

And de­spite the sen­si­tive na­ture of the is­sue, pro­gramme chiefs say it’s a story that needs to be told.

Pro­ducer Laura Shaw said: “It was im­por­tant for us to tell this sto­ry­line au­then­ti­cally, so we ap­proached Barnardo’s for ad­vice on scripts and char­ac­ter be­hav­iour. Our re­searchers, story team and ac­tors met with Barnardo’s ex­perts and young men who have been sup­ported by the char­ity.

“We met some in­cred­i­ble in­di­vid­u­als and were moved by their courage and will­ing­ness to help us tell this story sen­si­tively.

“Hope­fully it will make young peo­ple and their par­ents more aware of these is­sues and their im­pact.”

Last night, when told about Chris’s tweets, Em­merdale de­clined to SAN­TAS in­vade a Lon­don Tube sta­tion dur­ing a char­ity pub crawl yes­ter­day.

The scenes at Vaux­hall were re­peated around the cap­i­tal as hun­dreds of singing rev­ellers dressed as Fa­ther Christ­mas, elves and rein­deer for the an­nual San­tacon pa­rade.

It raised at least £16,000 for Christ­mas for Kids, who per­form in­ter­ac­tive shows for free at chil­dren’s hos­pices. All in a good Claus, then. com­ment. The twice-mar­ried fa­ther of two has been in the soap since 1986 and is its longest-serv­ing star.

His char­ac­ter Eric is a wheeler dealer turned bed-and-break­fast king who has ro­manced a string of ladies.

Chris’s first act­ing stint was a movie role at the age of 19.

He ap­peared as Pot­ter in the 1967 Sid­ney Poitier clas­sic To Sir, With Love – which in­cludes a plotline about a girl pupil in­fat­u­ated with her male teacher at a school in Lon­don’s East End.

Apart from Em­merdale, Chris also fea­tured in two seasons of 1970s sci­ence fic­tion drama The To­mor­row Peo­ple.

And in the past he has owned up to a se­cret ca­reer in X- rated Swedish films.

He has said of the roles: “I did films like Let Us Play Sex and Swedish Sex Games when I was on my up­pers, af­ter run­ning up ter­ri­ble bills and see­ing var­i­ous ven­tures fail.”

Story is told sen­si­tively so par­ents and young peo­ple are more aware LAURA SHAW TV BOSS TELLS OF SOAP PLOTLINE

CHITT CHAT Chris, tweet and TV scene

MERRY San­tas & rein­deer

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