Soap Star Deaths ‘Prompt Difficult Conversations’

It can be difficult to start conversations about dying and death, but it’s essential that friends and family do sit down to have such discussions with each other so we can make plans should the worst happen.

New research from Co-op Funeralcare has revealed that on-screen deaths can actually help prompt these chats, with 22 per cent saying they were spurred on to discuss a serious health condition or impending death by watching a medical drama or documentary.

And 24 per cent say they’ve been prompted to do so after watching fictional events on TV shows like soap operas. The top five deaths in soaps that prompted such conversations were found to be Ashley Thomas in Emmerdale, Ronnie and Roxie Mitchell in Eastenders, Pat Butcher in Eastenders, Jack Duckworth from Coronation Street and Vera Duckworth, also from Corrie.

“Many of us are avoiding emotive, but important discussions about issues such as death or funeral wishes with friends and family, yet often these conversations can be started by a common interest such as a popular TV soap or drama,” head of operations with Co-op Funeralcare David Collingwood said.

It can be hard to open up difficult conversations but it can be helpful to do so. If you want to broach the subject of death with someone, perhaps start by asking them who they’d like you to contact if they do fall seriously ill. This is a very effective way of starting hard conversations – or you could talk to your local GP for further advice.

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