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Coronation Street’s Shelley King, 64, shares hardship faced through filming domestic abuse

Coronation Street star Shelley Kelly has candidly discussed how acting out scenes of domestic abuse affected her.  

The 64-year-old actress – who plays Yasmeen Nazir on the ITV soap – admitted she couldn’t stop thinking about the real-life victims of abuse while she was shooting her scenes.

In dramatic episodes earlier this month, Yasmeen fought back against her husband’s vile mental abuse by stabbing him with a broken bottle, leaving his life hanging in the balance.  

Honest: Coronation Street star Shelley Kelly has candidly discussed how acting out scenes of domestic abuse effected her

The harrowing scenes resonated with audience members with the soap seeing their highest viewing figures in years however, for Shelley it left her feeling deeply ‘distressed.’

When speaking with The Sun, the actress revealed: ‘The past few months were tiring to film. The storyline has been going on for two years and at times it was difficult to unwind.

‘I felt a heaviness. It was a feeling that not everything is right in the world. But in a strangely positive way, I am getting messages from people all the time.’

The star shared that she has heard from an 80-year-old women who opened up about her own story of abuse.    

Harrowing: The 64-year-old actress - who plays Yasmeen Nazir on the ITV soap - admitted she couldn't stop thinking about the real-life victims of abuse while she was shooting her scenes

Harrowing: The 64-year-old actress – who plays Yasmeen Nazir on the ITV soap – admitted she couldn’t stop thinking about the real-life victims of abuse while she was shooting her scenes

However, Shelley shared that this is why she loves doing soaps because they tackle true-to-life issues that resonate with people.      

Shelley also revealed her performance was inspired by her late mother, who suffered a stroke in 1999.

She told the publication: ‘This has been one of the most traumatic experiences. I’m a theatre actor – and all actors, in order to give an acceptable, truthful and vulnerable performance, have to open themselves up to the situation of the person they are portraying.’

Disturbing: In dramatic episodes earlier this month, Yasmeen fought back against her husband's vile mental abuse by stabbing him with a broken bottle, leaving his life hanging in the balance

Disturbing: In dramatic episodes earlier this month, Yasmeen fought back against her husband’s vile mental abuse by stabbing him with a broken bottle, leaving his life hanging in the balance

She then explained how she kept the sudden loss of her mother close to her heart when acting out the painful scenes. 

Her mum was a huge fan of the soap and Shelley expressed how painful it is that she will never see her on the ‘Street.’

While many viewers were outraged by the hard-hitting plot, there was no doubt they tuned in greater numbers than Corrie had seen for months, as the soap saw it’s highest figures since January 2019.

According to consolidated figures by BARB, final viewing figures showed that 7.89 million viewers tuned in for the episode that aired on Monday 27 April. 

Powerful: The harrowing scenes resonated with audience members with the soap seeing their highest viewing figures in years however, for Shelley it left her feeling deeply 'distressed'

Powerful: The harrowing scenes resonated with audience members with the soap seeing their highest viewing figures in years however, for Shelley it left her feeling deeply ‘distressed’

The episode airing on Wednesday 29 April saw Yasmeen’s (played by Shelley King) plot to try and escape Geoff (Ian Bartholomew) exposed by him, with her being forced to beg for mercy in upsetting scenes.

This episode saw a slight increase with 8.08 million viewers tuning in across all devices. 

But it was Geoff and Yasmeen’s heart-stopping showdown on Friday 1 May that saw Corrie reach its highest viewership in 17 months, with 8.16 million viewers watching Yasmeen fight back against her abusive husband.

Making an impact: The star shared that she has heard from an 80-year-old women who opened up about her own story of abuse

Making an impact: The star shared that she has heard from an 80-year-old women who opened up about her own story of abuse

The storyline hasn’t been short of controversy either, with 301 complaining to media watchdog Ofcom about the shocking pre-watershed scenes.

In response to the complaints Ofcom said: ‘We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.’

Corrie bosses have also confirmed that Yasmeen’s ordeal is far from over, with the hard-hitting storyline set to continue until Christmas at the earliest.

Speaking to The Sun, soap boss Iain MacLeod has revealed Yasmeen’s ordeal is not over yet and will last until the end of this year.

He said: ‘The timelines have been shunted due to the lockdown but I think it’s fair to imagine that it will be this year.

Moving: She then explained how she kept the sudden loss of her mother close to her heart when acting out the painful scenes

Moving: She then explained how she kept the sudden loss of her mother close to her heart when acting out the painful scenes 

‘What form that comeuppance is is in discussion. We wanted a redemptive ending for Yasmeen obviously and the toughest it’s going to get for her is over the next months.

‘It’s towards the end of the year but the key thing is to impart the right message. For the sake of the people it has impacted we have to tell the right ending with some positivity.’

MacLeod added that the show does not want to show Geoff in a sympathetic light, but they will delve into the ‘psychological elements’ of an abuser.

The producer said a large chapter will come that sees Geoff frustrated at his inability to control Yasmeen as the legal proceedings go on.

The storyline could also be ground to a halt mid-stream, after filming for the soap was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With only a limited number episodes already filmed, Corrie could remain on air until the end of June, and a return date for filming to resume is yet to be confirmed.

If you have been affected by this story, please email helpline@womensaid.org.uk for information and support. 

Heartbreaking: Her mum was a huge fan of the soap and Shelley expressed how painful it is that she will never see her on the 'Street'

Heartbreaking: Her mum was a huge fan of the soap and Shelley expressed how painful it is that she will never see her on the ‘Street’

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