Corrie's copying our Fair City plots, says Irish star Maclean

Laura Butler

CORONATION Street bosses are copying Fair City storylines, says a star of the Irish soap.

Fair City actor Maclean Burke, whose character Damien was the first male soap star to fall victim to domestic abuse, says he's proud that Carrigstown got there first.

The Irish soap hit the headlines last year when the character of Suzanne began hitting her husband Damien.

And now Coronation Street couple Tyrone Dobbs and Kirsty Soames are set to play out the same bleak situation.

"Coronation Street are definitely watching Fair City, that's for sure. I am really glad they are doing it but it's nice that we did it first," he said.

"This has happened before. A few years ago we did a story about all the local guys starting a soccer team and like two months later characters in Corrie were doing the same. So it's nice for RTE to see that."

Speaking to the Herald, Maclean admitted that viewers were conflicted when his character first became the victim of abuse by his wife, and believes the Corrie storyline will do the exact same.

"When we did it on Fair City it was a national thing, it was huge at the time, it really got people talking. Whether they liked it or loathed it, it got people talking and it definitely divided the public.

"It's probably going to be the same with Coronation Street, but the important thing is that they do it right.

"I did so much homework on what really goes on. I went to groups and met men who had been through it themselves, I heard some really horrific stories. I hope the actors in Coronation Street give it the same time and energy we did."

Domestic abuse on men has caused some controversy in the past and Maclean admits that there are still people who refuse to believe it goes on. But the actor says, to this day, he still gets men coming up to him praising him for his portrayal as a victim of abuse. "It's crazy the amount of guys that still come up to me and thank me for that story," he said.

"People have told me that the situation was really true to life and it helped them get through it. But there are still some people out there who just don't want to believe it."