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Coronation Street’s Johnny Connor Diagnosed With MS

June 15, 2017

Our editor is sad to read that the actor can’t see how this won’t lead to his exit. She is passionate about soaps exploring disability on screen, and strongly dislikes exit storylines that start with characters becoming disabled.

Coronation Street actor Richard Hawley discussed his exit from the soap on ITV’s Lorraine today (June 15).

His character Johnny Connor told his family for the first time last night that he had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Now, fans are wondering what lies ahead for the cobbles favourite.

“I’ve got no idea what’s going on – I don’t even know the short-term future and I enjoy that,” he said. “This is a great job to have. I’d like to stay on the show but you have to take it year by year and story by story so you can give it your all.

“When Kate Oates told me we were going to do this story, she told me it isn’t an exit storyline because Multiple Sclerosis is slow progression.

“But I don’t really see how this can’t be an exit. Not that I’d mind an exit storyline because you can get great stuff from it. I’d like to stay on Coronation Street for a long time though actually.”

While researching Multiple Sclerosis, Richard revealed that what stood out for him is the reluctance in men to seek help when they start to show concerning symptoms.

He explained that, just like in real life, his character was hesitant to see a doctor.

“People can say Johnny has done the wrong thing, but having said that, this is what some people do after receiving a diagnosis,” the actor explained.

“In a sense, he’s gone into denial. A big part of this story is accepting what’s happening. None of his reactions are wrong.”

Richard described the opportunity to take on such a heavy storyline as a “privilege”.

He added: “It’s a big journey, which is still getting deeper. It’s not just about the exterior but the interior as well.”

 

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