It has been known for weeks that Hayley Cropper intended to end her own life when the terminal pancreatic cancer she was suffering from got too much for her, but as the story grows ever closer the public have come out in force to defend it!
Hayley (Julie Hesmondhalgh) was diagnosed with the terminal disease last year and, after coming to terms with the fact she was going to die, made the heart-breaking decision to end her life herself when the time was near so that she was still in control of her destiny.
Her decision was very hard for her husband Roy (David Neilson) to accept, but after a lot of soul searching Roy decided to support his beloved wife’s decision, no matter how much it hurt.
The story is set to reach its heart-wrenching climax next week, but outside of the soap the public, who have always loved the character’s involved, have come out in force to defend the storyline and have even started campaigning for people in similar situations to have the ‘right to die’.
Obviously such a huge storyline was bound to cause a big stir, but not even Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley, could have prepared herself for how big the response would be, as she has been explaining on ITV’s Daybreak earlier this week:
“That was a bit of a shock. I didn’t really expect that, because the storyline has tied in the ‘right to die’ issue so completely with Hayley’s unique story – about her own journey from being Harold in the first instance, and hoping that she wouldn’t be too confused at the end and think that she was back in her childhood.
“I thought that was very specific to her and that it wouldn’t really impact in this way, but it’s been absolutely brilliant that it’s started this conversation about the ‘right to die’ bill and so on. I couldn’t be more pleased about that. That’s all that you can hope for – that people talk about these things in a real way, in a new way. It’s been wonderful.”
Despite this huge display of public support, and Hesmondhalgh’s own opinions on the matter, the show has insisted that it is not letting the plot be one-sided and that it will explore the aftermath of the suicide from more than one point of view, as executive producer Stuart Blackburn revealed this week, explaining:
“We’re not advocates of Hayley’s decision in any way, shape or form. Roy’s ongoing story demonstrates that on one level she was wrong.
“She was supposed to love Roy, but she’s left behind a man who’s so full of guilt, anger and recriminations. It may have been the right decision for her in the short-term, but it was wrong for those around her.
“Fiz feels anger and grief when she finds out what Hayley has done, while Anna feels guilt that she could have done or said more. But the story was always about Hayley as a transgender individual.
“She’d spent a lifetime fighting to become a woman and the absolute fear for her was that the painkillers would lead to periods of confusion. She was determined to leave life as Hayley.”
Watch all the drama unfold when Coronation Street continues on Monday night at 7.30pm on ITV1 / ITV1 HD – Watch an interview with Julie Hesmondhalgh in the clip below: