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THE MOST BRUTAL CORRIE EVER; Shocking scenes of Toyah left for dead by a savage rapist.

Byline: PAUL BYRNE

THIS is the battered and bloodied face of the Street's Toyah Battersby minutes after she is raped and left for dead by a sex fiend.

The shocking attack will cause a storm when it is screened during ITV's early evening peak viewing time on Good Friday.

Former cast members have already criticised Corrie bosses for using the brutal rape to help it win the ratings war.

But producers hope the "Who raped Toyah?" storyline will prove as popular as the "Who shot Phil Mitchell?" saga on BBC's EastEnders.

Student Toyah, played by actress Georgia Taylor, is attacked and raped after a night out with garage mechanic Sam Kingston.

Viewers will not see the alley attack, but they will see a badly beaten Toyah being found by teenager Jason Grimshaw on Easter Sunday.

Jason takes traumatised Toyah home, where she tells her mum Janice and then has to relive her ordeal by giving details of the attack to police.

Barmaid Toyah has no idea who raped her and many of the men in Weatherfield will come under suspicion, some being forced to give DNA samples.

Prime suspect is Ken Barlow's creepy son Peter, who is later exposed as a wife-beater. It is the first time in the soap's 40-year history that rape has been tackled by scriptwriters.

Former stars Jean Alexander, who played Hilda Ogden, and Peter Baldwin, who appeared as Derek Wilton, have both attacked the programme for highlighting the sex attack.

Georgia, 21, said: "The main focus of the storyline is the psychological effect that the attack has on Toyah.

"There are many women out there who have been raped or sexually assaulted and we owe it to them to make sure that the storyline is handled sensitively and accurately.

"It's obviously a very sensitive subject, and as an actress I can only hope I have done the storyline justice."

Producers spent four months researching victims' experiences at a rape treatment centre, where some of the scenes were filmed.

A Street spokesman said: "Rape is obviously a very emotive subject to tackle in a soap opera and we have gone to great lengths to ensure that the storyline is handled sensitively.

"We have gone to great lengths to ensure that the storyline is handled sensitively.

"It will not become a whodunnit - more a process of elimination as each man is asked to give DNA samples."

Coronation Street bosses have been under pressure since the phenomenal success of the EastEnders' plot involving the shooting of Albert Square hardman Phil Mitchell.

More than 20million viewers watched Mitchell confront his ex- girlfriend Lisa Shaw over the crime.

It led to a bigger power surge than when the legendary JR's assailant was unveiled in the American soap Dallas.

A normal episode of EastEnders would trigger an increase of about 700 megawatts, but after the episode demand rose by 2300 megawatts.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 10, 2001
Words:480
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