UNLUCKY-in-love Bethany Platt is about to get another knockback in Coronation Street next week when she has a date with newcomer James Bailey.
Bethany – who’s played by Lucy Fallon in the ITV soap – is chuffed when upcoming footballer James asks her for a drink. While they’re at the Rovers, James asks Bethany if she’ll go with him to the surprise party his mum’s throwing for his dad, Ed.
But Bethany is worried when Daniel Osbourne arrives – already drunk – and starts tucking into the rum punch.
She asks him if he’s okay and his scathing reply leaves her stunned. James follows an upset Bethany into the garden and, touched by his kindness, she leans in for a kiss.
But the blonde is left feeling mortified when James doesn’t kiss her back. A gutted Bethany makes to leave but is stopped in her tracks when James blurts out that he’s gay.
Feeling humiliated, Bethany heads for the front door and goes home. Worried that his secret might get out, James goes after her.
He begs her to understand that there’s no way he can come out and be an openly gay, black footballer due to some fans’ prejudice.
Bethany softens and James apologises for using her. Back at the party, Michael tries to talk to James about Bethany and he laughs it off, saying they’ve had a tiff.
Will Bethany keep James’ secret?
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The storyline was announced earlier this year. Boss Iain MacLeod said at the time: “We wanted to look at homophobia in sport, and homophobia in football so that will be a component of the story but also we wanted to look at modern story about young gay man.
“So it won’t be your normal coming out story where we say James wrestling with his sexuality, we’re quite keen that he knows who he is, but has some apprehensiveness about telling his parents, and some apprehensiveness about his teammates finding out, that when we meet the character he’s on the cusp of bigger things football wise, and is also aware that despite the progress that we’ve made as a society, in lots of areas, homophobia on the terraces is fairly rampant.
“He’s scared about the reaction. But not because he’s worried that his family will reject him.”
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