CORONATION Street character David Platt will reveal to former partner Shona Ramsey that he was raped, in a special hour-long episode that will air next week.

David, played by Jack P Shepherd, who is from Pudsey and trained at Bradford theatre school Stage 84, has been struggling with mental health issues since he was drugged and raped by Josh Tucker (Ryan Clayton).

Meanwhile, his attacker has been tormenting him, telling him that no-one would believe him if he tried to tell somebody about the attack.

In next week’s episode David runs away from a court appearance that he is due to make over his assault of Gary Windass at a charity boxing match.

He is found by Shona (Julia Goulding) who David then tells about the rape.

He confides to her that he is motivated to tell her about his problems following Aidan Connor’s sudden suicide, and that he does not want to suffer alone anymore. Next week’s episodes of the ITV soap will address the issue of male suicide.

Coronation Street producer Kate Oates explained at a preview screening of the episodes in Manchester, it was always her intention to link David and Aidan’s storylines.

She said: “I wanted to make it really clear that the message we were trying to get out there was, if you speak up and find the words there will always be someone to help you and listen.

“The David story dovetailed with Aidan’s so perfectly. Really the episodes are totally about Aidan and Shayne Ward’s performance as Aidan.

“But it is also really important that David has the last word on this, as that is the message.”

Oates explained it was important the soap showed viewers how talking openly about problems can help to resolve mental health issues.

She said: “When we were planning the episode we asked the network to not give us the half-hour break between episodes. We wanted it to be as unbroken an experience as possible.

“If someone was to leave halfway through because they felt that they did not want to see the second part, they will miss our message. It was really important that went out.”

Meanwhile, Julia Goulding said it is hard to put aside her emotions after shooting scenes in the current male rape storyline. She said: “Because of the nature of it, my own feelings have come in to a lot of this and I find myself getting frustrated because Ryan Clayton is doing such a fantastic job playing Josh! The anger, frustration and injustice is very easy to play and really easy to portray because it is such a horrific subject.”

l The episode will be broadcast on ITV1 on Wednesday, May 9.