Rivals Gail and Eileen came together to pay tribute to the Manchester Arena bombing victims. (ITV)
Coronation Street paid a moving tribute to Martyn Hett and all Manchester Arena bombing victims, marking five years since the horrific attack.
Hett, 29, was a gay Coronation Street super fan and former winner of Come Dine With Me, and was among the victims of the bombing at Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May, 2017.
The attack, carried out by 22-year-old Salman Abedi, killed 22 people and injured hundreds more.
In 2018, Coronation Street announced a new set extension for the soap, set in the fictional town of Weatherfield, Manchester – an urban garden including a specially commissioned mosaic covered memorial bench dedicated to the 22 victims.
Friday night’s (20 May) episode saw rival characters Gail Rodwell and Eileen Grimshaw come together in the garden, both clutching bouquets to lay on the bench ahead of the five-year anniversary of the attack.
In a touching scene, the pair stand by the bench, where a plaque is visible reading: “For Martyn and all those who lost their lives on the 22nd of May 2017. We stand together.”
— Guy Lambert – guylambert.eth (@GRALCreates) May 20, 2022
Gail (Helen Worth) says: “It’s a lovely bench, isn’t it?”
Eileen (Sue Cleaver) replies: “‘It is, it’s just a crying shame it even has to be here.”
Gail continues: “Could have been any one of us, couldn’t it? Any one of us from this street… They went out for a concert, and they never came back. Our Lily loves Ariana Grande.”
When Eileen remarks on their civility, Gail adds: “Yeah, well, some things are bigger than you and me, Eileen.”
Coronation Street‘s twitter account posted the clip, and wrote: “Always in our thoughts. #WeStandTogether.”
I knew and adored Martyn so this was a particular honour for me to write x https://t.co/tdH6hCHGHT
— Jonathan Harvey (@JOJEHARVEY) May 20, 2022
Sharing it, writer Jonathan Harvey added: “I knew and adored Martyn so this was a particular honour for me to write.”
Hett’s loved ones were deeply moved by the scene, knowing that he would have loved it.
Russell Hayward, Hett’s partner before his death, tweeted: “Not watching live tonight as I’m working but just went into the loo to watch this and sobbed. Achingly perfect scene. Thank you Corrie.
“You have always looked out for us and been so respectful. It doesn’t go unnoticed. I like to think he is out there somewhere watching.”
Not watching live tonight as I’m working but just went into the loo to watch this and sobbed. Achingly perfect scene. Thank you @itvcorrie – you have always looked out for us and been so respectful. it doesn’t go unnoticed 💛 🐝 I like to think he is out there somewhere watching https://t.co/G3QQVA2kCg
— Russell 🍹 (@RussellHayward) May 20, 2022
— Figen Murray (@FigenMurray) May 20, 2022
Hett’s mother, Figen Murray, added: “So grateful to the team at Coronation Street – a massive thank you.”