Daniel Brocklebank, who plays Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street, is in the middle of a storyline involving Billy’s partner, Paul Foreman (Peter Ash), who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Previously, when the story was first announced, the beloved actor told us that he has a very personal connection to it, as he cared for his grandfather, who had MND.
’20 years ago my grandfather was diagnosed with MND and subsequently died from it, so this is a subject I’ve lived through in my own life, as have the rest of my family,’ Daniel candidly told Metro.co.uk at the time.
‘Then because I’ve been working with the MND Association for so long I subsequently met a lot of other people who have been living with MND, so it’s a subject that’s really close to my heart. I’ve been helping to fundraise for them for many years.’
A few months later, Daniel has been speaking in further detail about how playing this storyline has impacted him and his family members.
‘It is dredging up quite a bit of stuff for people’, he said.
‘It’s always 21 years since my grandfather died so we’ve sort of put a lot of that to bed in some respects, but I think it is it is dredging up. I have to say that there was a scene we filmed a couple of weeks ago. And obviously Paul’s physical debilitation is very visible. And it very much reminded me – we’re telling the whole family what’s going on – and I very much remember that in our family and, and in the scene, Paul gets up and walks out the room and I remember my grandfather doing the same thing.
‘And all of us just sat together, not being able to really comprehend what we were going to have to face as a family. And when Paul gets up and left the room, I just burst into tears. I mean, it worked in the scene for, Billy, thank God, so there are definitely going to be points where it’s triggering and I think when I did the thing on BBC Breakfast a couple of weeks ago I spoke to my mum afterwards and she was like, “this is gonna be hard to watch”, Not just watch, because it’s Corrie but watching you and Peter go through what we’ve already been through.
‘So, I think in some respects, it may be cathartic. But it’s gonna be hard for them to watch it. I think they’re pleased that it’s me, weirdly, it’s very strange that this storyline has landed on my lap, it’s going to be a hard watch for sure.’
Sharing how much impact the story has had on people already, Dan explained:
‘Only a couple of weeks ago I was in a bar at a leaving do. And a girl came up and asked if I would have a selfie with her and a family member of hers was with her who is living with MND, and I ended up stood chatting to them for quite a while. And it’s interesting, some people don’t want to watch it, because they don’t want to see it too much. But then other people that are really pleased that we’re telling the story.
‘It’s obviously always going to be a mixed bag of emotions.’
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