Coronation Street has confirmed that Aidan Connor, played by actor Shayne Ward, will take his own life in scenes that will air this month. It was revealed earlier this year that the character would be leaving Weatherfield – but the details of his exit storyline had been kept under wraps, until now. Episodes set to air next week will see Johnny Connor discover the body of his son at his flat in Victoria Street, after Aidan failed to turn up for work. As the news of Aidan's suicide spreads, his heartbroken friends and family will be left trying to come to terms with their loss, and questioning why they hadn’t spotted signs he was struggling to cope.
Coronation Street's Aidan Connor (Shayne Ward) will take his own life
Aidan will last be seen on screen on 7 May when he goes to visit Eva (Catherine Tyldesley) at the cottage she shares with baby Suzie. As he says goodbye, Aidan tells his former fiancée that he loves her and that she is better off without him. His final scene will see him back at his flat alone – no element of his suicide will be shown.
Speaking about the hard-hitting plot, Shayne, who joined the soap in 2015, said: "I am honoured to have been trusted with a storyline like this, it shows the confidence that Kate and the team had in me to be able to play it. When you get given a storyline like this it is a decision that is not taken lightly, I have played it with as much honesty and truth as I could. I am very proud of what I have done in my three years on the show and on this storyline in particular.
Aidan will last be seen on screen on 7 May when he goes to visit Eva at her cottage
"Aidan is an 'everyman' figure, he is someone men can identify with, which is important in telling this story. We hope that anyone who recognises something of themselves in Aidan, will realise they can, and really should, talk about how they're feeling…We all know someone who has maybe felt like Aidan did, someone who found it hard to talk and we have all heard stories like Aidan's when it was too late, when people looked back and wished they had spotted the signs, but it isn't always possible. If we can encourage someone who is feeling low, who is having the sort of thoughts Aidan was having, to realise they need to talk, then we have achieved what we set out to with this story."
Heartbroken father Johnny will discover the body of his son
Coronation Street producer Kate Oates added: "Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in this country. With 84 men taking their lives each week, we quite simply can't afford to not talk about it. Aidan's story, bravely and brilliantly tackled by Shayne Ward, is designed to give people who hide their feelings of desperation a chance to start a conversation, letting someone know what they're going through.
"Through this story, we want to assure anyone who feels suicidal that there is always someone who wants to listen and support you: whether a friend, family member, or one of the brilliant charities we have been working with throughout this story. We want to tell people that however bleak they are feeling, there is always another way."