24 Mar 2023, 00:01
23 Mar 2023, 13:01
Coronation Street has revealed Paul Foreman is set to be diagnosed with motor neurone disease next month.
Viewers will know Paul is currently struggling with an injury to his hand. He believes it is nerve damage sustained in a crash. He was knocked off a motorbike by Carla Connor driving the Underworld van while unknowingly under the influence of LSD.
With Paul’s hand getting no better, he starts to notice other problems with balance, mobility and dexterity. He is referred to a specialist on Friday March 24.
Paul won’t be honest with his family and friends at first (Credit: ITV)
Coronation Street: Paul to be diagnosed with motor neurone disease
After seeing the specialist, Paul will be given the devastating news that they believe he has MND. The diagnosis will then be confirmed in late April.
Initially Paul will keep the heartbreaking news to himself. As he fails to confide in partner Billy or his family, it will only be Dee-Dee Bailey he opens up to.
The storyline is set to follow Paul as he deals with the diagnosis alone before finally revealing all to his friends and family.
Coronation Street is working with the MND Association to explore the challenges Paul will face as he deals with this devastating news.
The diagnosis is set to devastate Paul (Credit: ITV)
Peter Ash speaks out on Paul Foreman’s story in Coronation Street
Paul actor Peter Ash has opened up on his upcoming storyline.
“Paul is completely blindsided by the diagnosis. He decides to keep it from his family and friends as he tries to come to terms with the news,” he explains.
“I knew very little about MND before embarking on the storyline. I am hugely grateful to the MND Association for all their help and support. For any actor playing a role which examines a real-life issue or condition there comes a huge sense of responsibility. We are aware that some people watching this storyline are experiencing it in reality, it is their life.
“Awareness and education are really important. I have learned so much even in the short time I have been involved in this storyline. We hope Paul’s journey can make people more aware of the symptoms and what it is like for someone to live with MND.”
Viewers know Paul’s suffering is worse than he’s letting on (Credit: ITV)
Iain Macleod on Corrie’s MND storyline
Show boss Iain Macleod added: “Motor neurone disease is something that many people might have heard of but perhaps don’t know a lot about.
“A show like Coronation Street is uniquely placed to show the day-to-day reality of dealing with an illness that gradually and progressively erodes the physical attributes that you perhaps take for granted, changing forever the way you interact with the world around you.
“At first, Paul – who as a builder, relies entirely on his physicality for his livelihood – will massively go off the rails. It’s a misplaced bid to ensure he isn’t a burden on his loved ones. But in the end, they will be the ones to put him back together emotionally.
“We are committed to portraying in a long-term, sensitive way the effects of this condition on Paul and his family and friends, not shying away from the sometimes painful reality of what his life will be like.
“We have been privileged to work with the Motor Neurone Disease Association.”
MND Association Director of External Affairs Chris James also gave his thoughts.
“We are really grateful to the team at Coronation Street for choosing to tackle this difficult subject.
“Putting MND in front of millions of viewers every week will raise incredible awareness. [It will] help educate people who have never come across this disease – showing the day to day reality for those living with it and the impact on their families, friends and neighbours too.
“The Coronation Street team has been incredibly responsible when considering storylines, scenarios and scripts, spending a lot of time talking to us and members of the MND community to ensure the on-screen portrayal of MND is realistic, sympathetic and sensitive.”
Paul is worried when he visits the specialist (Credit: ITV)
What is motor neurone disease?
MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It attacks the nerves that control movement causing muscles to stop working.
Sufferers are locked in their body, however, the senses are not usually affected. Eventually those with MND won’t be able to move, talk or breathe, and 80 per cent of sufferers will lose their voice.
There is no cure for the illness and as a result a third of people diagnosed sadly die within a year. More than half only life for two years after diagnosis.
For more information, including advice and support, visit the MND Association website or call MND Connect on 0808 802 6262. The service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and 7pm to 10.30pm. Calls are free. You can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coronation Street usually airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV.
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