Corrie star reveals reason for acid attack story: 'It should scare us'

Justin Rutherford (Andrew Still) returned to Coronation Street this week with the intention of attacking Daisy Midgeley (Charlotte Jordan) with acid. However, in a huge twist, Ryan Connor (Ryan Prescott) stood in front of Daisy just as Justin threw the liquid, making him the victim instead.

In harrowing scenes, Ryan collapsed to the floor as the acid began burning his skin. Daisy managed to call the emergency services and took Ryan to the shower as they waited, desperately attempting to cool his body down and save some of the facial tissue with the water.

Working with The Katie Piper Foundation and ASTI (Acid Survivors Trust International), Coronation Street will now highlight what it’s like to recover from a horrific event, as Ryan’s life changes forever.

Recently, spoke to actor Ryan Prescott about this storyline. He highlighted what happens next for Ryan but also the importance of shining a spotlight on this ordeal, pointing out that his character doesn’t assume Justin has thrown acid at Daisy, largely because it’s ‘very difficult to anticipate this level of hate and violence’.

‘I don’t think we like to look at these things and admit that one person can do this to another person’, he said.

‘We turn away from it and don’t like to look at them head on, because it’s scary and it should scare us – but that’s why we wanted to do the storyline in the first place. Through the research, we discovered that there was 300 acid attacks in Manchester in 2022 and they weren’t televised, none of them made mainstream media or any media platform for multiple reasons. It just shows that it’s way more prevalent than you first expect.’

Reflecting on the hours after the attack, where Ryan is in hospital, the actor explained: ‘By this point, he’s starting to see that his life is never going to be the same again. He’s trying to reach out and clutch onto whatever he can within his life that will allow him to deny the reality. He sees things like his relationship with Alya and the chance to go to Ibiza slipping away from him and naturally tries to reach out in desperation. I think he knows there are stages of acceptance and denial. Slowly, he understands the gravity of what’s happened.

‘It’ll change his life forever’, Ryan added.

‘It will change the way he interacts with the world and the recovery. The difficulty within the parameters of soap is to show some kind of reality that comes with the longevity of what it means to be an acid attack survivor. The recovery period is so long, if not lifelong. It’s psychotherapy, physiotherapy for many years if not the rest of your life. PTSD, trauma therapy, learning the simple things of dealing with people looking at you in the street.

‘There’s a whole phase of trying to accept that people are going to react differently to you now. Your face is the first thing you look at when you get up in the morning and look in the mirror. It’s your first means of communication, the thing you most readily identify with yourself. When that changes, everything changes. Despite the massive shift that the incident causes, he is determined to not let it define who he is.

‘He is trying to find his way back to the infectious spirit, but it’s a long road.’

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