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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

Coronation Street star Peter Ash shares what he tells himself when trying to switch off from heartbreaking storyline

Coronation Street actor Peter Ash has addressed how he tries to switch off from his current storyline after his character was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Paul Foreman was diagnosed with the life-limiting illness in heartbreaking scenes back in April in the ITV soap.

The former builder discovered the news that he had the fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, alone as he kept the news hidden from boyfriend Billy Mayhew and his family, only confiding in former flatmate Dee-Dee Bailey. However, the truth was eventually revealed.

Archdeacon Billy somewhat accidentally discovered the truth. After believing Paul was hiding something, Billy searched through his belongings only to find a letter from the court with the date and time of the case. And when Billy headed to court, he found out that Paul had been stealing cars to fix his money woes, only to have his case quashed due to his life-limiting diagnosis.

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There were the emotional scenes when Paul tearfully confessed he was dying to his sister and his mum after his unusually quiet and resistive behaviour caught their attention. The news has spread to more of his loved ones and the rest of the street as they rally around to support him.

Viewers have since watched Paul coming to terms with his diagnosis while Peter has been winning praise for his portrayal. Last month, the Manchester actor spoke about the 'overwhelming' reaction to his latest storyline which will eventually result in a permanent exit from the soap as there is currently no cure for MND.

"It's been amazing, it really has. It's been quite overwhelming really to get messages from people who have lost loved ones or are currently living with loved ones who have MND. It really is something," Peter, who has played Paul since 2019, told the Manchester Evening News and other press.

Paul has been struggling with his diagnosis in Corrie (ITV)

"And I appreciate all the kind responses so far." But the fact the storyline will see him make a permanent exit from Weatherfield has made the storyline even more upsetting for fans. "People have been lovely saying they don't want me to go and things like that and I really appreciate that. The Corrie fans are amazing. We have amazing fans. It's great."

Speaking now about if and how he is able to switch off from the challenging and emotional storyline, the soap star admitted: "I'm quite good at kind of shrugging it off when I get home."

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But if he does struggle to shake off work, Peter told us what he tries to tell himself. "If not, I have to think, 'I'm just acting it, there are people living with it and what they go through is just on a completely other level,'" he shared. "So, as hard as it can get, you have to remember that."

Corrie fans are gradually seeing Paul's condition worsening. Last week, after agreeing to make dinner for his loved one, Paul headed on the bus to Freshcos but on his way home, Paul climbed off the bus with his shopping when his leg gave way, sending him sprawling.

Paul was seen taking a tumble in scenes aired last week (ITV)

Those on the bus didn't rush to help and a woman heading onto the public transport looked at him in disgust as she accused him of being drunk. After the bus driver told him to be more careful before driving off, Bernie rushed over to help an emotional Paul before persuading her reluctant son to let her try out her crystal therapy on him

Speaking about the help he gets in portraying Paul's changing and progressing symptoms, Peter shared: "I have someone I can contact through the MND Association whenever there's a new symptom or anything that I might not be sure about the best way to portray it. They are more than happy to hear me out and give me tips. And obviously, the storyline team here are working very closely with the MND Association as well. They are an amazing organisation."

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