Coronation Street’s Geoff tackles domestic violence

Coronation Street actor Ian Bartholomew is using his on-screen experience as a domestic abuser to help real-life victims.

Fans of the soap have been gripped by the current storyline which has seen Ian’s character Geoff Metcalfe subject his on-screen wife Yasmeen Nazir, played by Shelley King, to months of coercive control and abuse.

The 66-year-old actor, who lives in Cheshire, has been so moved by the storyline that he’s resolved to raise money for Women’s Aid and to make more people aware of domestic abuse – and the Steve Morgan Foundation has stepped in to help.

Incidents of domestic violence soared during the lockdown earlier this year, and as a response Ian wrote a song called This Time It’s Forever, which has been picked up by a top UK record producer, and is essentially about survival.

In real-life Ian is happily married to experienced theatre director Loveday Ingram and the pair approached the Steve Morgan Foundation for financial help to produce a video to accompany the song and were awarded £5,000.

“The prevalence of domestic abuse in any of its forms is a terrible situation for so many in this country and around the world, that it needs to be highlighted and brought out of the shadows and into the light of public scrutiny,” he said.

“I want to use my character’s notoriety and profile to make a difference, however small that may be.”

In May, Ian posted a video on online for Women’s Aid advising victims of domestic abuse how to get help and it’s been viewed more than 200,000 times, and over a million times on the Women’s Aid Facebook page.

“We’re incredibly appreciative of the support from the Steve Morgan Foundation,” said Ian. “The video we hope will make a real difference. Unfortunately domestic violence isn’t going away and the on-going pandemic is making the situation even worse.

“We’re telling a really important story on TV and I wanted something positive to come out of that Coronation Street storyline. Writing the song This Time It’s Forever is just the first step and the video should enable us to reach a much bigger audience and help us raise more money.

“The video will also feature actual survivors of domestic abuse, something which has never been done before. We’ve been working with Women’s Aid on this project and proceeds will be going to them. They were very heavily involved in overseeing and helping with the storyline in Coronation Street, providing research and background information that was invaluable. I’m pleased to say that they have given me their blessing for this project.”

The £5,000 from the Steve Morgan Foundation will be added to the money already raised through a JustGiving appeal and private donations.

The video can he viewed here:

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