Coronation Street star Chris Harper has said that while his character, villain Nathan Curtis, is "not sticking around", the soap's controversial grooming story is far from over.

The ITV show's big storyline this year has seen 17-year-old character Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) being groomed and sexually exploited by former boyfriend Curtis. 

The storyline has gripped Coronation Street fans since the Spring

This week, the drama moves to the courtroom with Curtis facing trial - and fans are set for tension-filled episodes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  

"The whole story has been through Bethany's eyes and will continue long after Nathan's gone," actor Harper told ITV's This Morning.

"Whether it gets to court or not is a big thing"

"We're going to see how it affects her, but it has to be through her eyes. Nathan is not sticking around."

"It's still nowhere near its ending - whether it gets to court or not is a big thing," Harper continued. 

"From beginning to end it's a long, long journey and it will affect Bethany for the rest of her life."

During the interview, Harper stressed the importance of Coronation Street bringing the grooming issue to a wider audience.

"By its nature, it's a family issue and there are people of any age being abused," he said.

"It's not the weird creepy guy necessarily; it can be somebody you might trust, somebody you think you know or somebody who can leverage in some way the relationship with the family... It affects everybody.

"I think Corrie have been brilliant doing it in a pre-watershed way... It's bringing the conversation into the living room."

If you have been affected by this storyline, please contact Childline in Ireland on 1800 66 66 66 or The Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 778 888.