Coronation Street's Ian Bartholomew in counselling over Geoff and Yasmeen plot

Coronation Street’s Ian Bartholomew has been seeking counselling over the abuse storyline between Geoff Metcalfe and Yasmeen Nazir (Shelley King).

The soap stars have been praised for their chilling portrayal of the coercive control plot. which has shown Geoff increase his possessive hold over Yasmeen – to the point she lashed out and stabbed him.

And, during an appearance on BBC Breakfast, Ian revealed how much the scenes had affected him.

‘It’s not been easy. You have to go to places that are unpleasant, it’s dark,’ he told hosts Louise Minchin and Dan Walker.

‘But I have had some help, the company have helped me with some counselling so I can offload any angst or anger, or shame that I might have. 

‘But it’s been a very, very important storyline and the responsibility has kept us going.

‘We’ve relished the opportunity to be able to tell a story that really needs to be told. Especially at a time like this, in lockdown, where it’s happening – it would seem – a lot more than before.’

‘Yasmeen and Geoff were in love when they first started, they really were very, very happy together,’ he continued. 

‘But as time goes by, you start to let go of those barriers that you put up, so the other person doesn’t see the real person behind the mask… 

‘That’s what we’ve tried to do in a slow and deliberate way, so it draws the audience in and makes much more sense in sense of reality.

‘It’s been a tough ask, the thing that’s kept us focused and together is that it’s an important story to tell.’

Emphasising how important viewers have found the plot, Shelley revealed that she had received a message from Amnesty over Yasmeen’s behaviour.

‘The numbers have gone up hugely,’ she agreed. ‘I actually was emailed by Amnesty the other day to say their refuge websites have gone up something like 140%.’

While Teresa Parker from Women’s Aid explained people had actually been quoting Coronation Street when seeking help from abuse situations.

Appearing alongside Shelley and Ian, she added: ‘The reception that this storyline has had, has been absolutely incredible. 

‘It’s a testament to the work and research that the whole team at Coronation Street have been doing. 

‘At Women’s Aid, on our LiveChat, we’ve had women who have contacted us and they’ve been literally quoting the storyline, and saying the reason they understand coercive control and are seeking help is because of what Yasmeen has been experiencing.’

The ITV serial drama has also seen a massive rise in viewing figures, with more than 8million people tuning in to see the plot unfold.

Coronation Street continues on Wednesday 13 May, at 7:30pm, on ITV.

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