Baroness Lawrence works with Coronation Street on special Bailey family episodes.

“The storyline will also explore how Don’s attitude makes Ed think long and hard about his own prejudices against his son James’ homosexuality.” – ITV Granada

Coronation Street has joined forces with Baroness Doreen Lawrence on a storyline which will shine a light on the damaging effects of racist verbal abuse. In episodes to be aired next week, Ed Bailey will find himself on the receiving end of racist name-calling and abuse.

Ed tries to rise above the comments being made by new Bistro manager Don, who is overseeing his and son Michael’s refurbishment work on the restaurant. As the abuse escalates, and Ed continually shrugs it off, Michael and James are shocked at their dad’s attitude and baffled as to why he is letting Don get away with it. It soon becomes clear there is a generational difference of opinion about dealing with what Don sees as jokey banter, but are clearly racist comments.

Things come to a head at the opening party of the new Bistro as Ed finally eventually decides to face up to Don when his comments are directed at the rest of the family.

Coronation Street researchers, writers and storyliners consulted with Baroness Lawrence about plans for the episode. She was delighted to act as a script advisor and also visited the set with her consultant on the project, Adrian Sykes, to observe key scenes from the episodes.

The episodes were initially due to transmit on April 22nd, Stephen Lawrence Day, but the transmission was displaced by the new schedule as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Corrie is currently out of production for the first time since the three-month ITV strike of 1979 which saw production halted across the network from August to October. Coronation Street plots at the time were unaffected by the strike with storylines carrying on – despite the jump in months – where they left off, notably Ray Langton instigating divorce proceedings following a tip-off by Len Fairclough that his estranged wife Deirdre was having a romance with Ken Barlow.

“It is a huge privilege to have someone of the standing of Baroness Lawrence consult with us on this episode. I really believe that her input, and the contributions of the cast playing the Bailey family as we workshopped the scripts, have resulted in an episode with real weight and authenticity.” – Producer Iain Macleod

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