Coronation Street announce Sophie Lancaster-inspired hate crime storyline

In a new storyline that begins airing in May, Coronation Street's Nina Lucas and Seb Franklin are subjected to "an unprovoked violent attack because of her alternative identity".

Coronation Street announce Sophie Lancaster-inspired hate crime storyline
Emily Carter

Coronation Street are set to unveil a new storyline next month inspired by the tragic loss of 20-year-old rock fan Sophie Lancaster, who was attacked – along with her boyfriend – by a gang in a park because of the way she looked.

That devastating 2007 hate crime will be portrayed by characters Nina Lucas and Seb Franklin in a "hard-hitting" new Corrie storyline, with the pair "subjected to an unprovoked violent attack because of her alternative identity".

The British soap opera worked alongside the Sophie Lancaster Foundation on this particular plot, with Sophie's mum Sylvia (who is also Chief Executive of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation) stating, "I know first-hand the abuse, harassment and violence that alternative people suffer. Hate crime is usually directed at already stigmatised and minority groups and Sophie was assaulted three times before that final, sustained and brutal attack that took her life – but she never reported the earlier assaults.

Read this: Sophie Lancaster's legacy

"Coronation Street covering this issue means such a huge amount to me. We want alternative people to know that they shouldn’t be putting up with this prejudice and intolerance, and they should report it. We want the wider community to really appreciate the horror of this violence and understand that difference in itself, is not frightening, it just makes us all who we are. We will also use this platform to continue raising awareness of Sophie’s case with the police and judiciary to make sure that hate crime against alternative people is recognised and treated with the degree of severity that it deserves."

Producer Iain MacLeod adds, "The issue of intolerance and hatred towards people from different cultures and subcultures is arguably more relevant now than it’s ever been. This incredibly hard-hitting storyline, which centres on a senseless act of violence, will draw in characters from all corners of our narrative universe and will, we hope, leave the audience with a clear message: everyone, regardless of how they look, how they dress or any aspect of how they live their life, should be treated with tolerance and respect.

"The story will run across the rest of the year and beyond, with many twists and turns, and will be heartbreaking and dramatic in equal measure. In the end, the story will see an optimistic outcome emerge from the traumatic attack."

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