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Coronation Streets Max Turner to be groomed by far-right extremists

Coronation Street: David Platt confronts Max about stolen wallet

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Coronation Street often raises awareness of important topical issues through powerful storylines, and an upcoming plot involving teenager Max Turner (played by Paddy Bever) is set to carry on the tradition. The schoolboy will find himself caught up in a grooming situation as far-right extremists target him to join them on the ITV soap. What will become of the vulnerable schoolboy?

The ITV soap is going to highlight the issue of the grooming of disenfranchised and impressionable young men through Max.

A lonely and vulnerable Max will be preyed upon by a gang of extremists.

Ultimately, he will end up putting his own life and that of his friends and family in danger.

In Friday’s episode, viewers will see Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) confront eco-activist Griff (Michael Condron) and his mates when he discovers that the band they have invited him to see are playing racist songs.

Toyah Battersby (Georgia Taylor) challenges Spider (Martin Hancock) about the company he is keeping.

However, she’s unaware that he is an undercover cop who has infiltrated the gang to expose their activity.

In Monday’s episode, Griff turns his attention to troubled teen Max, who has been the victim of persistent school bullies since losing his place at Weatherfield High.

Griff helps the youngster out when he steps in and threatens to teach the bullies a lesson.

After this, he earns Max’s trust and invites him to a Halloween party at his house.

Griff informs the rest of the gang that Max could be useful to their cause.

In the coming months, as Max becomes more estranged from his family, the schoolboy falls under the spell of Griff.

The dodgy character uses Max’s video and computer skills to spread his and his friends’ racist propaganda.

On the storyline, Coronation Street Producer Iain MacLeod said: “Overall, Max’s story is one about the grooming of a vulnerable teenager at a point where he’s feeling most alienated and disenfranchised.

“The story will encompass the ‘traditional’ recruitment techniques of extremist groups, and we’ll see Max befriended in person by older, mentor-like figures that will give him a sense of loyalty and brotherhood.

“Then, later in the story, we will explore a very 21st-century problem: teenagers self-radicalising through watching extreme content online.

“In the end, we wanted this to be a story about communication within families – what are the right and wrong ways to talk to younger family members who are gravitating towards extreme views?

“For the conclusion of the story, David Platt’s (Jack P Shepherd) misjudged attempts to deal with Max will drive the narrative to a shocking and thought-provoking climax.”

Counter Terrorism Policing’s Senior National Coordinator, Tim Jacques, said: “Coronation Street has a long history of raising awareness of challenging issues that sit at the heart of communities across the UK.

“Sadly, the terrorist threat remains one of those very real concerns.

“Our casework shows that children and young people are vulnerable to radicalisation and are increasingly being drawn into toxic ideologies through online spaces and platforms.

“We hope Max’s story will help to highlight why it’s so important to get support or advice if you’re worried someone you love is taking a dangerous path. It really doesn’t have to be that way.”

How will the story conclude? Will Max realise the impact of what he is doing and try to put a stop to the gang’s plans before it’s too late?

Perhaps he will end up brainwashed by the group and partake in some dark things in the name of their cause.

For advice and support on this subject, visit via www.actearly.uk.

Coronation Street continues on Friday at 8pm on ITV.

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