Coronation Street’s producer Phil Collinson apologises for “procedural errors” in rape storyline

by Lynn Connolly

As fans of Corrie will know, the storyline which began with Frank Foster raping his then fiancé Carla Connor, and which featured him being found not guilty by a jury, will come to a climax when the character is murdered next month.

However, inevitably, there were raised eyebrows and out and out complaints about how the popular soap handled such a contentious issue, with many claiming that the fact Frank (Andrew Lancel) was found not guilty could have put real life rape victims off reporting the crime.

It was also claimed that some of the scenes, in particular those in which Frank menaced Carla (Alison King) outside the court before and during the trial, inaccurately reflected the procedures that an accused person must adhere to with regard to contacting alleged victims.

However, while addressing the annual conference of St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester, the show’s executive producer, Phil Collinson, said, “I do agree that there were some procedural things in the court that we did get wrong…”

But he added, “In a show like ours, we are constantly balancing the needs of the drama against the needs of accuracy…

“And I suppose I would have to agree that there were some procedural things in the court that our attention has been drawn to subsequently and I can only apologise for that.

“I have to stand by the story that we told and I think we did a good thing in the main.”

Collinson added that the show also “sent out a very clear message” by clearly portraying Frank as a rapist.

BBC News adds that as a direct result of the plotline, the Rape Crisis Helpline saw an 800% increase in calls following Frank’s attack on Carla.

However, I did wonder if the show is promoting some kind of vigilante justice, given Andrew has remarked that Frank will “get his comeuppance” by way of being murdered.

What do you think of the way the show’s handled this storyline?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.