Corrie goth Nina Lucas lies battered and bruised in hospital after being attacked as part a powerful plotline based on the horrific murder of Sophie Lancaster.
And actor Mollie Gallagher who plays her vowed to do the scenes justice in honour of the 20-year-old, 14 years after she was senselessly murdered simply because she looked different.
In tonight’s episode, Nina and boyfriend Seb Franklin (Harry Visinoni) are set upon by a gang mocking her appearance and both end up in hospital.
It mirrors the 2007 cowardly attack on goth Sophie in Bacup, Lancs.
Mollie, 23, said: “Because this stuff has happened it’s such an important story to tell. I felt a lot of emotions. I am really privileged to be given such an important storyline but I am also nervous because I want to do the story justice.
“I have really put my all into it and hopefully it shows. You see the human effect this has on someone who you would say is strong.
“Knowing this has happened and does happen breaks my heart.”
Mollie told how she discussed the storyline scripts with Sophie’s mum Sylvia.
She said: “Sylvia shared her story with me. I did lots of research. I wanted it to be as accurate representation of a hate crime as possible.”
Sylvia, who runs the Sophie Lancaster Foundation in her daughter’s memory to focus on creating respect for, and understanding of, subcultures, added: “It was lovely to speak to Mollie.
“People have taken Nina to their hearts which is lovely to see. People are looking behind the clothes and the image and seeing the person.
“It so important to get the message out there, intolerance and prejudice, we have to get it out of society. Alternative people like other minorities deserve to walk down the street without being abused physically or emotionally.”
In tonight’s Corrie a drunken mob starts making jibes at Nina before Kelly Neelan, played by Millie Gibson, slaps her after being egged on. The pair try to get away but the thugs give chase and launch their vicious attack.
Sophie and her goth boyfriend Robert Maltby were beaten up in a park by a gang of teenagers. She died 13 days later of serious head injuries.
Mollie told how as soon as she was made up to look battered, she “wanted to cry”. She added: “I knew it would look awful but when you are sat there, it is a really strange moment. I saw myself in that way and so I held that feeling [in the scenes] which was a massive help.”
Show boss Ian MacLeod said the storyline was planned more than a year ago. He added: “It was very important to work with Sylvia and the foundation. It’s a powerful story that still needs telling.”
Sylvia told how she used to watch Corrie with Sophie and is pleased the soap is tackling the subject, even if tonight’s scenes will be hard viewing for her. She added: “She would be astonished I am working with Coronation Street … and a bit giggly.”
*Coronation Street is on ITV on Wednesday at 7.30pm and 8.30pm.