Mum shuns Coronation Street over childhood cancer storyline

Dawn Allen and her son Henry
Dawn Allen and her son Henry

A mum has criticised Coronation Street bosses for making a “mockery” of the disease that killed her little boy.

Dawn Allen lost her son Henry to Stage 4 neuroblastoma in October 2013 when he was just four years old.

Today the ITV soap revealed that character Hope Stape, also four years old, will survive after being diagnosed with the same childhood cancer as Henry.

Mum Dawn has lashed out at Corrie writers for “sugar-coating” the storyline - and not portraying real life.

She said: “I supported Coronation Street in this heroic storyline but feel like they are making a complete and utter mockery of childhood cancer.

“I’m not bitter - there are some amazing success stories - but I am just disappointed that Coronation Street is not showing the real neuroblastoma and parents’ real battles.”

However, filming the scenes, which are due to be aired over Christmas, was a “surprisingly uplifting experience”, said actress Jennie McAlpine.

Jennie, who plays Hope’s mum in Corrie, spoke to TV Times about the controversial storyline.

She said: “I think it would be a bit too much for the audience if she didn’t get better, and it’s right for this storyline.

“The producers have had to be mindful of the fact that the actress is just four years old.

“We don’t want to put them into scenes that are too harrowing.

“That’s why we’ll never truly reflect what happens in real life, and it wouldn’t be very responsible of us to try to do that.”

Dawn added: “I appreciate the awareness, however this happened to my little boy. Henry will be forever four years old because of neuroblastoma.

“Corrie, it’s such a shame that your producers are not strong enough to make a stand.

“I will be switching off.”