Coronation Street’s Shelley King has said her character Yasmeen has nothing but her survival in mind as her dramatic abuse storyline comes to a head.
Fans of the ITV soap have watched in horror as Yasmeen’s controlling husband Geoff Metcalfe has become increasingly abusive, convincing his wife she has an alcohol problem, monitoring her movements and harassing her until she is scared to leave the house without his permission.
Geoff’s campaign of abuse even saw him killing Yasmeen’s pet chicken, Charlotte Bronte, and making her eat it.
Read more: Corrie fans urge Yasmeen to murder Geoff
However, things look set to change as Yasmeen finally acts to defend herself against Geoff (Ian Bartholomew).
King, 64, told ITV’s This Morning: “This has been going on, it started two years ago. And if you look back at Geoff’s first introduction, he is a hail-fellow-well-met and we seem to love him. We all love him, because he’s great.
“But it’s been a slow drip, a gradual escalation of abuse so it’s not an attack, she’s defending herself.
“It’s her instinct, she’s a cornered animal… She doesn’t even know in that instance what is actually happening to her.”
The actress said in moments of great stress “we, in order to survive, can not remember the pain that we are feeling - the incident is blurred”.
“All Yasmeen is thinking of, in the scene that you will see tonight, is her survival and she really can’t remember, she is in deep shock.” she said.
“She really can’t remember exactly what has happened. All she can remember is Geoff and her being there. Geoff coming to her, the abuse continuing and then he’s on the floor. She doesn’t even remember the interim.”
King has been able to speak to many people who have been through similar abuse to help prepare for the plot.
Ahead of tonight's Coronation Street, here's Ian Bartholomew with a very important message.— Coronation Street (@itvcorrie) May 1, 2020
Yasmeen's coercive control abuse storyline is even more salient than ever during the Coronavirus Lockdown but there is help available.https://t.co/9zn0oDOyRa#Corrie #Yasmeen #Geoff
She said: “I remember asking the people in Women’s Aid if there was any sort of repetitive factor in the process of controlling relationships and although they at first said, ‘Well no, they are indiscriminate’, the more we talked about it, there was something that emerged and that is that the perpetrator often seems to target an ostensibly strong person because, in a lot of instances, people who display strength, strength is just a [mechanism] to protect somebody who is quite vulnerable.
“I think if you look back at Yasmeen’s history you will see that she is in fact hugely vulnerable.”
Actor Bartholomew recently told how his children don’t watch him on the soap when his twisted character is up to his evil tricks.
He told What’s On TV: “They started to watch Coronation Street, and when dad started to turn nasty, they said, ‘No, can’t watch it now, dad’ and I quite understand that,” he said.
“If they want to watch it I’ll say, ‘You can watch this episode because this one’s alright, but I don’t want you watching that episode, because daddy’s not being very nice’.”
King joined the soap in 2014.