Wednesday 21 August 2019

Corrie star Tristan Gemmill on his character’s cancer storyline

Character Robert Preston was reluctant to go to the doctors.

Robert and Michelle in hospital from an episode of Coronation Street (ITV/PA)
Robert and Michelle in hospital from an episode of Coronation Street (ITV/PA)

By Catherine Wyatt, Press Association Reporter

Coronation Street star Tristan Gemmill has spoken about the positive reaction he has received for his testicular cancer storyline in the soap.

Gemmill’s character, Robert Preston, will find out in Wednesday’s episode that the lump in his testicle is most likely malignant.

Preston will be given the diagnosis in hospital after he was run over by a car.

Gemmill told the BBC: “I’ve had a lot of contact on social networks and organisations saying it’s great that you’re talking about this, thank you for doing it … it just goes to show that there is a need for stories like this and it makes you feel better about what you’re doing.”

He said Coronation Street takes its “social responsibility role” very seriously, adding: “We saw that with the baby loss, Michelle’s baby loss last year, and the Bethany grooming story.”

Gemmill’s character has so far been avoiding seeing a doctor about the lump, despite girlfriend Michelle Connor, played by Kym Marsh, trying to persuade him to go.

Gemmill told the BBC show: “He’s kind of old-fashioned, a bit old school, he finds he doesn’t want to deal with it, there’s that denial aspect that he certainly feels.”

Preston has a family history of cancer, and after watching his father die of the disease is reluctant to seek help.

Gemmill added: “I think men, Michelle even says it to Robert in the show, if a woman finds a lump in her breast, you go straight to see someone about it, and men are a little bit, not for the first time, a little bit behind on the self-care thing.”

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