Corrie Johnny Connor’s tragic MS plot slammed as ‘deeply unrealistic’ by charity

A Coronation Street storyline in which a character with multiple sclerosis developed hallucinations was "deeply unrealistic", according to a charity for real life sufferers.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society has written to the ITV soap's producers saying the plotline has left up to 130,000 Brits with the condition "frustrated".

Corrie character Johnny Connor – played by actor Richard Hawley, 66 – was diagnosed with MS on the show in 2017.

This year he was diagnosed with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), which causes hallucinations, which has sparked several episodes during his time in prison.

Johnny has even seen his late son Aidan Connor, who took his own life in 2018, in a heartbreaking scene earlier this year.

The soap linked MS to CBS despite visual hallucinations being very rare, according to the Society and other charities.

Martin Baum, 61, who has been living with MS for nearly 40 years, said the soap’s makers were "unapologetic" and had "wrongly linked" the two conditions "for entertainment".

Nr Baum , of Hemel Hempstead, Herts, said: "Coronation Street could educate so many people about MS.

"But these inaccuracies can cause a lot of upset and worry."

Ed Holloway, of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, said: "We’ve been providing extensive information about MS to programme researchers since Johnny Connor first developed MS in 2017.

"When asked for our advice regarding Charles Bonnet Syndrome we said it was highly unlikely someone would develop the condition.

"We’ve written to the show to express our concerns.

"While we recognise this is a drama, and won’t always reflect real-life, suggesting hallucinations are common for someone with MS is deeply unrealistic.

"We’ve written to the show to express our concerns and reiterated that we are always here to provide accurate information about MS."

An ITV spokesman said: "We research our stories extensively and what happened to Johnny Connor could indeed have happened in real life."

Coronation Street airs on weekdays at 7.30 and 8.30pm on ITV.

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