Imran Maalik’s domestic abuse of his mum Misbah is threatening to tear apart the family in Hollyoaks and, as Misbah blames herself for what is going on, things are set to get even worse – with further rows set to spill over into violence.
But discussing the hard hitting plot, Bryan Kirkwood told Metro.co.uk that he is keen not to paint Imran as an out and out villain and feels that there can be redemption for the volatile teenager down the line.
He explained to us: ‘We researched the issue and it is just as alarming as a husband beating his wife but the difference is that we have children taking their frustrations of adolescence on the person closest to them. It’s a heartbreaking story which is completely grounded in real life. Misbah feels responsible for her son’s actions but is being completely punished by him – it’s a long journey for both characters.
‘I think it’s very important that we don’t demonise Imran and that we explore the fact that he is making terrible choices but we hope that we can show that he is redeemable and to put both mother and son on a rightful path that will chime with some of the viewers at home.
‘There is a scene coming up which gave me goosebumps when I read it – it’s about the most banal moment in a living room between a mother and son. An argument over the remote control turns into a battle of wits and then a literal battle. I am very proud of this scene because I think it shows that this level of anger and level of abuse can be attributed to the smallest of events in peoples’ lives. The relationship is psychological as well as physical.’
The storylines come as the government has announced a 12 week consultation on proposed legislation around domestic abuse, which includes launching an official definition that encompasses the full range of crimes, tougher sentences, more powers for police and the introduction of an Ambassador who will monitor resources and hold the government to account.
You can get involved in the consultation by following this link.