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Samia Smith wary of "hard-hitting" plot

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Frank tries to kiss Maria, who is not interested

© ITV

Samia Smith has said that she does not want to offend the Coronation Street audience with her upcoming sexual assault plot.

The 28-year-old actress, who portrays Maria Connor in the ITV1 soap, insisted that she is "hyper-aware" of the responsibility she has with the "hard-hitting" storyline.

Next month, the fictional single mum will be attacked and raped by newcomer Frank Foster in her home.

She told PA: "A few years ago my first kind of hard-hitting storyline was when Maria had the stillborn baby and it sort of makes you really hyper-aware that other people have been through it, so you kind of want to do it justice.

"It's the same with this one really. Sexual assault is a very serious issue, so I want to do it justice and hopefully not offend people who have been sexually assaulted."

The star also admitted that filming the disturbing scenes alongside former Bill actor Andrew Lancel has been "a bit tricky".

Smith added: "I think he's obviously really enjoying the challenge of it but it's also a bit tricky coming in and playing an instant baddie.

"They are long hours, they're 12 hour days that we do so it's tiring but it's sort of exhilarating as well because you're getting your script and when you've done it, hopefully you're going to be proud of what you've done. It's a really important storyline as well. I think it's nice to tackle hard-hitting topics." Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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