January 21, 2018

Coronation Street spoilers: Pat Phelan plot sparks hundreds of complaints ‘Too gory’ | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

Coronation Street spoilers: Pat Phelan plot sparks hundreds of complaints ‘Too gory’ | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV


As murderous villain Pat (played by Connor McIntyre) continues to shock viewers with yet more horrific killing on the cobbles, communications regulator Ofcom received a whopping 662 complaints for “violent” scenes.

Upset by what they’d witnessed on ITV’s family soap, many said that the twisted character’s reign of terror was far too “harrowing” to air before 9pm, and implored for it to be stopped.

The evil Liverpudlian appeared to turn a dark corner when it was revealed that he’d been keeping Andy Carver (Oliver Farnworth) hostage in a basement back in September. 

As the storyline progressed, it became clear there was no going back when the con-man’s switch flipped and he forced the struggling character to kill his old enemy Vinny Ashford (Ian Kelsey) before shooting Andy himself. 

Quickly losing control, Pat trod even closer to the edge in last week’s episodes when he shot Weatherfield favourite Luke Britton (Dean Fagan) before torching his car and burning the evidence in his back garden. 

Since the complaints, the watchdog has been forced to assess whether ITV have gone too far in terms of pre-watershed violence, as well as whether they’ve broken the rules on “appropriate scheduling”. 

With the amount of complaints sent in, a serious breach could lead to a £250,000 fine for the network, the requirement for a apology or statement, and in the most extreme cases, the possibility for the long-running soap staple to get axed from television altogether. 

While the likelihood for the latter to happen is slim, especially given its popularity, ITV could end up telling producers they need to adapt future plots in order to comply with the stringent rules. 

As the soap’s fate potentially hangs in the balance, ITV released a statement defending their actions. 

“Pat Phelan is well established as a villain in a long line of murderous Coronation Street villains,” a spokesperson told the MailOnline. “And his evil actions won’t have come as a surprise to viewers.

“The programme is always careful to limit the violence shown to a minimum to convey the drama and tell the story. We have responded to Ofcom.”

Despite bosses’ insistence that the soap continues to provide dark storylines in the same vein as always, a number of celebrities have commented on the differences of late. 

Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson even said that Coronation Street had become more like “a horror film than a family show”, while Conservative MP Giles Watling claimed that ITV should be recognising their responsibility to protect impressionable young viewers. 

He declared: “Broadcasters should have some sense of responsibility when dealing with these things. 

“It is absolutely true that young minds can be easily swayed by what they see on the television, and if they see casual violence as part of what they see as ordinary, everyday life on television, they might incorporate it into their own lives. I do know we have to be very careful.”

The former actor went on to reference his own previous experience, saying: ”In my previous life in the theatre we think about these things, and so should television broadcasters, especially television broadcasters because they reach so many. 

“And they not only reach so many, they reach so many in their own homes, which makes it normal.”

Coronation Street continues Monday at 7.30pm on ITV.



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