Sunday 22 September 2019

Emmerdale actor reveals real-life acid attack inspired storyline

Michael Parr said a friend helped a victim of an attack in London last year.

Emmerdale star Michael Parr has revealed his friend helped an acid attack victim.
Emmerdale star Michael Parr has revealed his friend helped an acid attack victim.

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Emmerdale actor Michael Parr has revealed a friend came to the aid of an acid attack victim before his character suffered one on-screen.

Parr plays Ross Barton in the ITV soap. 

In an episode in February Barton had acid thrown on him by drug dealer Simon McManus in a case of mistaken identity. The attack left the character with burns on his face.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Parr revealed that a friend had come to the aid of a victim of a real acid attack in east London last year.

Michael Parr plays acid attack victim Ross Barton in Emmerdale.

Parr said: “These two guys were in the car and they threw something out the window and drove off.

“A young lad was screaming, ‘My face, my face’, and luckily my friend knew exactly what to do. She grabbed him, took him to a nearby Sainsbury’s and then started pouring water all over him.

“It was really bad, and traumatic for my friend to witness. His clothes were melting and there were people just standing around, filming it on their phones. That’s the culture we’re in now.”

Following the episode of Emmerdale in which Barton was attacked, broadcasting regulator Ofcom received 366 complaints.

Michael Parr alongside fellow Emmerdale star Anthony Quinlan at the MOBO awards

Last month the regulator said it would not be taking any further action against the soap regarding the complaints.

Parr told the Mirror he thought it was right for the programme to address real issues like acid attacks.

“It’s really important for us to tackle these storylines. Soap has that advantage over drama, people are really already invested in the characters.

“When it happens to somebody who you feel you really know, you get to see their full journey and learn what they are going through.

“It’s been new territory for all of us. One of the things I’ve struggled with is thinking that I don’t know if I am doing it right, having not been through it myself.”

However, Parr said that wearing the make-up for the programme had given given him some insight into what victims of acid attacks have to deal with on a daily basis.

“Even when I’ve got my make-up on and I walk into the canteen, people who don’t work on the show stare at me.

“Either people are staring, which makes it really uncomfortable, or people are actively ignoring you and not making eye contact. And I’ve only got make-up on. It must be really hard for victims.”

PA Media

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