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  1. ITV Report

Sue Johnston: rape storyline helped me talk about my own assault

The actor Sue Johnston has spoken out about how playing a character who was raped on a soap helped her to talk about her own assault.

The performer, who is best known for her roles in 'The Royle Family', 'Downton Abbey' and 'Coronation Street' played Shelia Grant in the Channel 4 soap Brookside from 1982 to 1990.

The Grant family from Brookside. Credit: PA

She told ITV News that one plot line - where her character was attacked from behind - so closely mirrored her own experience of a sexual assault in 1970, that it almost became like "drama therapy":

Sue Johnston was attacked by a stranger when she was 27 years old.

Sue Johnston was sharing her story as part of a special series of interviews to mark 30 years since Lucy Meacock became the presenter of ITV Granada Reports.

You can watch the interview in full below: