Shayne Ward has said he’s been left ‘overwhelmed’ by response to Aidan Connor’s Coronation Street exit.
Monday’s instalment of the ITV soap saw the emotional final scenes of Shayne Ward’s character Aidan.
Shayne exited the ITV soap this week after three years on the cobbles.
And it was a heartbreaking departure, with Aidan taking his own life in a suicide storyline.
Shayne’s final scenes as Aidan aired to 6 million viewers for both episodes on the Bank Holiday Monday.
The plot will continue throughout the week, following how his family and friends come to terms with the shock and loss of Aidan.
Speaking for the first time after the episodes aired, Shayne said today: “A lot of people who are considering attempting suicide have got in touch to say, ‘I’m calling somebody now. I was attempting it and you’ve helped me.’
“The response has been truly overwhelming.”
He went on to tell The Sun newspaper: “I knew when I took it on that it was more than just a storyline. This is affecting millions of people around the world every single day, and when I read the stats I couldn’t believe it.
“So when I’m getting into that place, it’s a really, really dark place which again breaks my heart. You feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
“You feel lost, you feel hopeless, powerless, unloved and you feel like you can never make things right.”
Coronation Street writers worked with charities such as Samaritans and CALM to make sure the episodes air with sensitivity and realism.
Shayne said last week: “I am honoured to have been trusted with a storyline like this, it shows the confidence that Kate [Coronation Street’s producer] and the team had in me to be able to play it. When you get given a storyline like this it is a decision that is not taken lightly, I have played it with as much honesty and truth as I could.
“I am very proud of what I have done in my three years on the show and on this storyline in particular.”
Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.