Coronation Street shows controversial right to die scene

Coronation Street character Hayley Cropper with on-screen partner Roy Credit: ITV

This article reveals Coronation Street plotlines.

Coronation Street devotees watched tonight as one of the soap's long-standing characters, Hayley Cropper, died controversially in a case of assisted suicide.

Hayley, played by Julia Hesmondhalgh, had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

In the closing minutes of tonight's episode, Hayley is seen drinking a lethal concoction before passing away peacefully in the arms of her partner Roy.

Watch the final scene below:

Hayley first appeared on the soap in January 1998 and won the hearts of viewers with her on-screen romance with cafe owner Roy, played by David Neilson.

Her first appearance caused a stir since Hayley was originally Harold, a pre-op male-to-female transgender, and a first for British soaps.

Hesmondhalgh said she thought the death had been "done very responsibly and very gently".

As a member of the British Humanist Association, she said she has "quite strong views in favour" of assisted suicide, but only with a range of safeguards.

Coronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn said

The producers of Coronation Street were advised by the Samaritans charity, which warned that the scenes of Hayley's death from a drugs overdose could cause a risk of copycat cases.

Care Not Killing, a campaign group opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide, said the soap was "in great danger of normalising an occurrence that is actually very rare indeed".

Campaigners on both sides of the debate took to Twitter after the episode had been shown.

Jane Nicklinson, who had campaigned with her late husband Tony for the right to die tweeted:

Read a timeline of Tony Nicklinson's right to die legal battle

But the Conservative MP Nadine Dorries wrote:

If you are in distress and need some support, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 08457 90 90 90 or click here for their website or email

For those in the Republic of Ireland, the number is 1850 60 90 90

For help and support withissues surrounding pancreatic cancer go to the PancreaticCancer UK site