Coronation Street spoilers follow.
Coronation Street's newest villain Mason Radcliffe has quickly stolen the spotlight on the show over the past few months, providing a new antagonist for storylines following the dramatic exit of Stephen Reid last October.
Mason, played by Luca Toolan, was introduced to the show in September 2023 but started playing a more central role a few weeks later as an emotional storyline focusing on school bullying began.
The new arrival has been cruelly targeting Maria Connor's young son Liam, who's now terrified to attend school after repeated incidents. Sean Tully's son Dylan Wilson is also closely involved, regularly succumbing to peer pressure from Mason and his cronies.
So, does the story have a while to go or will it all be over in a flash? Here's the lowdown.
When will Coronation Street's Mason Radcliffe be caught out?
While Corrie fans will be hoping that Liam's ordeal comes to an end quickly, the sad news is that his storyline still has a little while left to run.
In an interview last year, the show's producer Iain MacLeod confirmed that the Mason and Liam storyline will continue into February or March.
This reflects how real-life cases of bullying can span for long periods of time.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other media in October 2023, MacLeod commented: "I've just read some scenes which are much deeper into the story, so they'll be airing next February or March.
"It's entirely heartbreaking in terms of the reaction of the children that are on the receiving end of the bullying, and the feelings of impotence for the parents because they know what's going on but they can't penetrate this wall of secrecy that surrounds it, because the victims don't want to speak up.
"It drives Gary and Maria's characters into quite extreme territory in terms of their emotional reaction to what they believe is happening. It's desperately sad."
Luca Toolan, who plays Mason, spoke exclusively to Digital Spy about the future of the storyline last year.
The young actor told us: "Corrie have mentioned that it will probably run for at least a few more months, if not more. That's really nice, because it gives the three of us a bit of time to settle into the characters and grow as actors.
"We'll see a different side to the characters involved. The longer the story, the better, because it just means you get more to play with."
The good news is that Corrie bosses have already promised a happy ending for Liam in the long term.
MacLeod recently said: "We want it to have some positive messaging as well. So the outcomes for the people in the worst of it will be good – and when they seek help, they will receive it and they will then be on a positive trajectory going forward.
"But before that, it's an in-depth exploration of teenage mental health and bullying. If we get it as right as it looks like we're going to, I'm really proud of it."
Coronation Street's Mason, Liam and Dylan storyline so far
Coronation Street launched its bullying storyline in October 2023, when Mason befriended Dylan and a reluctant Liam.
Mason was trouble from the start as he forced Dylan and Liam to try out some vapes, which caused Liam to suffer an asthma attack. Mason did a runner, while Dylan made sure that Liam received the help he needed at the hospital.
When news of the incident spread, Liam's stepdad Gary was worried. It was revealed that Mason is part of a notorious family – the Radcliffes – who are known to be dangerous figures in the local community.
Following in his family's footsteps, Mason revealed to Liam and Dylan that he was responsible for a hit and run incident which injured Stu Carpenter's granddaughter Eliza Woodrow.
Mason shared the truth as he was searching for a false alibi in case any police suspicion fell on him.
A few weeks later, Mason's vape obsession continued as he forced Dylan to start selling them on his behalf to some of the other kids at school.
When Dylan's dad Sean found out, he disposed of the vapes to punish his son. Mason was furious over the lost products and demanded compensation by seizing Dylan's new expensive trainers. Liam found himself framed for the stolen footwear when the school investigated the incident.
Mason later threatened Liam with a knife after his attempt to frame the vulnerable schoolboy didn't go as well as he'd hoped.
Dylan witnessed the scary encounter but felt too intimidated to step in and defend his friend. He also agreed to start selling vapes for Mason in a new location after landing himself a job at the kebab shop, which is regularly visited by schoolkids.
Speaking recently about his role in the storyline, Liam McCheyne – who plays Dylan – explained: "I think my whole description of Dylan is that he just wants to fit in. He wants to make friends no matter what, probably because of his previous encounters in London.
"He wants to fit in with the cool kids and be like them. He doesn't want to be what he was in London – it's a total change to who he previously was. It's almost like a new start for him and he can have a bit of freedom so I think that would make him very easily influenced.
"I think Sean realises how dangerous Mason's influence is, but Dylan ignores him quite a lot. Mason isn't a true friend to Dylan, but as I've said he's very easily influenced so I don't think he realises what he's getting himself into."
Coronation Street gave the storyline an on-screen break in the run-up to Christmas, but revisited Liam's ordeal in January.
Liam was shown to be skipping school to avoid Mason's bullying, but his mum Maria and stepdad Gary soon found out what he was doing.
Upon his return to school, Liam had his phone stolen by Mason. When Mason pinned him against a wall and threatened to turn violent again, Liam set off the school fire alarm to get away from him.
Mason refused to return the phone unless Liam agreed to a meeting with him. Despite concerns from his younger stepbrother Jake, Liam vowed to go ahead with the meeting and stand up to Mason.
Meanwhile, Liam also broke his silence by telling Maria and Gary that he's being bullied, but he refused to disclose the full details or who was responsible.
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.
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