Wednesday 23 August 2017

Corrie's Chris Harper urges teenagers to stay safe amid soap's grooming storyline

FROM ITV STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Tuesday 7 February 2017
Coronation Street - Ep 9104
Friday 17 February 2017 - 2nd Ep
Choosing Nathan [CHRISTOPHER HARPER] over Rana, Bethany Platt [LUCY FALLON] climbs into his car. Nathan takes Bethany back to his flat. Bethany apologises profusely for questioning his innocence and swears that from now on she will trust him implicitly. Picture contact: david.crook@itv.com on 0161 952 6214
Photographer - David Crook
This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com
FROM ITV STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Tuesday 7 February 2017 Coronation Street - Ep 9104 Friday 17 February 2017 - 2nd Ep Choosing Nathan [CHRISTOPHER HARPER] over Rana, Bethany Platt [LUCY FALLON] climbs into his car. Nathan takes Bethany back to his flat. Bethany apologises profusely for questioning his innocence and swears that from now on she will trust him implicitly. Picture contact: david.crook@itv.com on 0161 952 6214 Photographer - David Crook This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

By Joe Nerssessian

The soap actor plays “master manipulator” Nathan Curtis.

Coronation Street’s Christopher Harper has offered advice to teenagers on avoiding sexual exploitation as his role in a grooming storyline continues.

The soap actor plays Nathan Curtis, who is pressuring his much younger girlfriend Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) into having sex with his friends.

One scene airing on Friday night will see the 16-year-old schoolgirl led to the bedroom by older man Neil as Nathan encourages her with a reassuring smile.

Teaming up with children’s charity Barnardo’s, Christopher urged youngsters to follow the organisation’s tips in staying safe.

He said: “Nathan is a master manipulator. Bethany thinks he loves her, but he is isolating her from her friends and family so he can control her and exploit her sexually.

“Groomers like Nathan can target anyone but there are things you can do to help keep you and your mates safe.”

He added: “Barnardo’s has lots of top tips, including staying with friends your own age, always making sure someone you trust knows where you are and having charge and credit on your phone.

“It’s important to ask yourself if you’re in a safe situation and to be careful around drugs and alcohol, as they could make you an easier target for someone who wants to hurt you.”

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “In Coronation Street, Bethany is being controlled and manipulated by a much older man who is sexually exploiting her. It’s a crime and it’s wrong.

“If you’re out with friends, or seeing someone new please read Barnardo’s top tips for keeping safe.

“Sexual abuse and exploitation is never your fault, so please tell someone if you are scared or worried about yourself or a friend, so you can get help.”

Earlier this month, Lucy said she was spurred on to do a good job with the soap’s “difficult” grooming storyline after speaking to real-life survivors.

Barnardo’s advice for youngsters and parents is available in its online Be Safe Guide.

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