Coronation Street story line prompts a rise in cancer check ups

It has been an emotional week on the cobbles for coronation street fans, who have been preparing to say goodbye to bubbly character Sinead Osbourne. The actress’ traumatic exit has stretched further than the famous street, by prompting a rise in cervical screening.

The plot hit TV screens when UK cervical screening rates were at their lowest in two decades. However, since the story line has developed, actress Katie McGlynn has been contacted by several nurses, informing her of a noticeable uptake in women getting tested.

During a Loose Women interview, Katie said: ” I feel overwhelmed by the response that we’ve had. I’ve had woman message me saying that they hadn’t gone for their smear test but now they have and they found pre-cancerous cells.”

The actress also posted one of the messages she received on Twitter:

The NHS cervical screening programme saves approximately 5000 lives annually, however 1.2 million women are not taking up their invite to get tested each year.

NHS manager of Stranraer Cancer Drop In Centre, Aileen McClymont says: “Thanks to our National Health Service we have one of the best and most accessible cancer screening services in the world. It is so important that anyone eligible takes up the offering of screening.”

Research undertaken by the NHS highlighted that 1 in every 3 woman fail to attend cervical screening tests due to embarrassment. According to Cancer Research UK there are around 3,200 new cases of cervical cancer every year in the UK. Yet research also suggests that 99.8% of cervical cancer cases are preventable if women were to get tested.

“Shockingly statistics now show that 1 in 2 us will develop cancer at some point in our lives. However with early detection and better awareness, the survival rate will increase. Nobody ever wants to hear the news they have cancer but tests like cervical screening are key in fighting the disease,” added Aileen.

Cervical Cancer symptoms

Info graphic by Taylor Campbell

The soap highlighted several issues through this story line, including raising awareness of having cancer during pregnancy. The first signs of Sinead’s diagnosis came last year whilst she was pregnant. She gave birth to son Bertie, but was later told her cancer had returned and had few months to live.

The actress spent months researching to ensure she did the story line justice and said during the Loose Women interview: “I just wanted to do it properly”.

This research included working with Mummy’s Star, a charity who support woman affected by cancer during pregnancy.

Mummy’s star is the only charity in the UK and Ireland dedicated to supporting woman and their families affected by cancer during pregnancy or within 12 months of giving birth. Cancer Research UK indicates that 2 women a day are diagnosed with cancer in or around pregnancy.

“When we first had the interview with Mummy’s star I felt really ignorant because I didn’t even know that could happen,” admitted Katie.

“A lot of shows do highlight issues like this but not fully and don’t always show the sad, authentic outcome. I love this story line because it covers so many current issues,” she added.

A half hour episode will air on Thursday 24th October at 8:30PM and a special hour long episode at 7:30PM on Friday night will both be dedicated to Sinead’s final chapter on the cobbles.

For more information visit:

Bicycle Matters do Matter


Lorna Ramm, CineShrub Coordinator. (Credit: Linnéa Lind)

It’s Thursday evening and a small group of people have gathered on Guthrie Street for a film screening, but they don’t know exactly what they will see. The theme is bicycles. 

As bags of popcorn are handed out and blankets are offered, one of the viewers asks if it is okay if she takes her shoes off.

“Of course! This is meant to be like friends coming to a screening,” Lorna Ramm says, CineShrub Coordinator.

The Shrub is a charitable organisation that works towards a world without waste. The film screening tonight is part of the Bicycle Matters programme, which runs until the beginning of May.

“We do repair workshops and screenings. It is all about maintaining bikes and making sure we don’t throw them away. We focus on bicycles for environmental reasons, as there are lots of times when people might take the bus or the car instead,” Lorna says.

She says that the best thing about cycling is speed and freedom:
“Cycling gives me the feeling of being unstoppable and being in my own space, to move forward and be in my zone rather than thinking about what’s going on around me.”


“Cycling gives me the feeling of being unstoppable and being in my own space,” Lorna Ramm says. (Credit: Linnéa Lind)

The surprise film tonight turns out to be The Flying Scotsman from 2008. The beautiful cinematic piece is based on the true story about cyclist Graeme Obree, who becomes the world champion twice whilst battling mental health issues. He’s also famous for his innovative bicycle designs as he used parts of a washing machine to build a bicycle.

Two of the visitors tonight are India Lumai Fiorentino and Max Johnson, who both cycle in their free time.

“I really loved the film, it was inspirational. True stories are always the best; they give you true motivation, as it is a real story and not made up. There were a lot of messages in the film, like never giving up on your dreams,’’ India says.

When India was young, she often cycled but then stopped because she did not have the opportunity to continue. Two years ago, she took up cycling again when she moved to Amsterdam and bought a new bike.


India Lumai Fiorentino and Max Johnson came to watch the film on Thursday evening. They both cycle in their free time. (Credit: Linnéa Lind)

“I pushed myself so I could cycle with no hands. I fell a few times and had a few accidents too, but that didn’t discourage me. I can literally search through my bag and look for things and put it back on. In fact, I feel really safe on a bike. Sometimes, I feel unsafe if I go out and it is dark but when I’m on a bike, I am never scared. And you can go fast,” she says.

Max agrees and says that he has cycled ever since he was a child.

“It gives me the ability to engage with the city in a completely different way. It makes Edinburgh even smaller, but in a nice way.”

“I don’t have any plans for building a bicycle with parts of a washing machine, but it might be great,” he says, laughing.


The Bicycle Matters programme is part of the Zero Waste Edinburgh project, which aim is to establish long-lasting strategies to reduce waste in the south side of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It is supported by a grant of £300,000 in funding by Zero Waste Scotland and the European Regional Development Fund until March 2020.

For further information about The Shrub, see their webpage here.

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