Katie Piper charity assists Coronation Street in acid attack storyline
The Katie Piper Foundation has supported Coronation Street in understanding the “long-lasting impact” of an acid attack as the soap explores the issue in an upcoming storyline.
In a future episode, Daisy Midgeley, played by Charlotte Jordan, is getting ready for her wedding day at The Rovers Return when her stalker Justin Rutherford, played by Andrew Still, shows up in Weatherfield following his arrest.
Justin, holding a glass full of clear liquid, throws the acid on Daisy ahead of her wedding ceremony to Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard).
Sarah Green, chief executive of The Katie Piper Foundation, said the charity was happy to assist the production team in understanding “both the initial and long-lasting impact of an acid attack”.
She added: “Coronation Street have shown determination in their research to portray the reality of such attacks and the long-lasting impact they have, not only on the individual, but also the family and the wider community.
“We hope that story line delivers much-needed awareness around the life of all survivors of burns – not just the initial impact but the proceeding hours, days, months and years of their lives.”
The charity, which helps victims of burns and other disfigurement injuries, was founded by TV presenter and former model Piper who suffered life-changing burns in an acid attack in March 2008 when she was 24.
The 39-year-old activist and former Loose Women panellist presents Katie Piper’s Breakfast Show on Sundays on ITV1 and became an OBE for services to charity in the 2021 New Year Honours list.
Jordan, who is also known for Netflix series Free Rein, said she was surprised to see such a storyline on TV.
The 27-year-old actress added: “There is a fear lurking in the back of Daisy’s mind since Justin was released on bail. She has always been thinking, ‘Will Justin retaliate in some way?’
“Seeing him again after he has been warned multiple times by officials to stay away from her, she is certainly scared of how he is going to react.
“I don’t think Daisy really thought about how obsessed Justin was going to become.”
Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod said the soap will also “explore the social fallout of having your appearance profoundly changed, both in terms of your own ability to process that and how the wider world reacts to you.
“The story will at times be heartbreaking but we felt it was an important one to tell.”
Acid Survivors Trust International (Asti) executive director Jaf Shah, whose charity also gave advice to the programme-makers, said they hope to raise awareness of their vision to “end attacks, thereby preventing further pain and suffering”.
Mr Shah, whose organisation has campaigned to change laws in Cambodia, the UK, Pakistan and Bangladesh, added: “Our hope is that the airing of this storyline paves the way to increased understanding of the devastating and complex impact on the lives of survivors.”
Coronation Street will air the storyline on Monday March 27 on ITV1 and ITVX.