Coronation Street to introduce 'sinister' storyline involving teenager Bethany Platt

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Coronation Street will introduce a "controversial" storyline that involves schoolgirl Bethany Platt being caught up in a "sex ring" after being groomed.

The impending plot twist in the long-running ITV soap opera will see 16-year-old Bethany - played by Lucy Fallon, 21 - fall for an older man called Nathan, a new addition to the show.

However, there will be more to him than is initially thought as he has a disturbing ulterior motive.

Coronation Street
Coronation Street's Bethany Platt (ITV/Mark Bruce)

According to a source, Corrie bosses were keen to run the storyline in order to raise awareness to younger viewers.

The show insider told The Sun on Sunday: "This storyline was not undertaken lightly, it was the subject of major discussions among the show's writers and bosses.

"But in the end they agreed that, while controversial, it was very important.

Lucy Fallon
Lucy Fallon (Ian West/PA Wire/PA Images)

"We know Bethany's popular with girl viewers and hope to make them aware of the risks of this situation. The really sinister element is that, while viewers will be aware Bethany's boyfriend is bad news, she'll have no idea. Hopefully that will resonate."

According to the source, fans will be able to see it all unfold at the start of next year.

Show bosses are said to be working "closely with relevant child protection charities" to keep things as realistic as possible.