Wednesday 18 July 2018

Corrie stars hope gay affair storyline gives people ‘a voice’

The actresses have had good feedback for their affair storyline.

By Julia Hunt, Press Association

Coronation Street stars Bhavna Limbachia and Faye Brookes have said they feel a huge sense of responsibility to get their lesbian romance storyline just right for the sake of viewers.

The actresses’ characters Rana Nazir (Limbachia) and Kate Connor (Brookes) have fallen for each other in dramatic scenes on the ITV soap.

Both admitted they feel pressure to do justice to the story and be “a voice” for people in similar situations.

Limbachia said she also hopes to raise awareness within the Asian community.

She said: “I went looking further into the LGBT community and how it affects them and I realised that over half of the younger LGBT community had self-harmed. And 44% considered suicide, and that’s when I realised that these people need a voice.

“I’ve also been speaking to young Pakistani, Muslim gay women – in secret, because they’re still afraid to come out to their parents. That’s when I realised that there is a lot of truth in this.

“These people do need a voice and it still has to be a subject within the Asian community so if we could even be a voice for them then that would be half the battle.”

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Brookes said: “It’s overwhelming sometimes, we have to take a step back and we talk every time we come across a new scene, we have to discuss it at arm’s length because we just want to get it right, not just for the LGBT community but for the sake of Corrie, for the fans, for the young viewers, those girls who are looking up to us.”

The actress said the couple’s relationship has been well received by viewers, with no negative feedback.

She said: “I think it means they like our characters. They like us together.

“We’re just pleased they’re happy because they’re our viewers and they’re loyal.

“It’s making them have conversations with their parents… there was a time that a gay kiss on TV caused uproar, but now it is celebrated and people champion it. It makes the younger generation more comfortable with who they are, which is fantastic.”

Rana and Kate will face more challenges in coming weeks, with Limbachia promising “some interesting twists that I think the viewers will least expect”.

And the situation worsens when Rana reveals that she is pregnant.

Brookes – who said the entire storyline is the “cherry on top of the cake” – said: “Kate’s heart is broken at this point – it has been ever since she realised she was in love with Rana. The fact that she’s never going to get her happy ending – that’s what her frustration is throughout this whole journey. Kate doesn’t ever think it’s going to go in her favour.

“So when Kate finds out that Rana is pregnant with Zeedan’s child – that’s it. The jig’s up. It’s never going to be anything that I wanted it to be. So she’s just left in absolute turmoil. There’s just a lot of tears. A lot.

“But it’s not the end.”

Press Association

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