Corrie's Jack James Ryan discusses danger of cancel culture
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Speaking on Lorraine, the actor explained he hopes his character Jacob Hay in Coronation Street shows redemption is possible. When Jack’s character Jacob first appeared on the ITV soap, he was part of a drug dealing gang and pulled Simon Barlow (played by Alex Bain) into trouble. Now the teen is back on the cobbles and dating Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney) much to the dismay of her parents. But as Jacob has secured a job in Underworld and is trying to turn his life around, Jack hopes it shows young fans, it’s not the end of the world if they make a mistake.
“I came on and it was that sort of three month job, the character had a shelf-life,” Jack explained.
“But it was amazing to see the reaction of the audience to the character and I think that’s why he came back.
“Everyone loves a redemption arc.”
Lorraine agreed: “Exactly! He is trying hard and will hopefully be redeemed going out with Amy [Barlow].
“He’s a brave man to take on Amy and Tracy and Steve McDonald. That is a brave young lad.”
“I think it’s important as well to show young people you can mistakes and you can get a second chance,” Jack explained.
“I think with cancel culture at the minute, it feels a bit like you can’t make a mistake in life but I think it’s important and I’m proud to be showing that story.”
Lorraine replied: “You’re right, when I was your age, we didn’t have social media, thank the Lord.
“So we were all able to make our mistakes and learn from them and move on. You’re so right, that’s what makes us better people.”
In the same interview, Jack spoke about learning he had testicular cancer at the age of 19.
He told Lorraine: “I didn’t even know it was a thing that would happen to young men.
“I thought it was an old man cancer. When I found out it was really common in young men, I thought, ‘Wow, why didn’t I know about this? Why didn’t we know about this?’
“I mean, getting to tell that story on something like Coronation Street with Jacob would be amazing for me.
“It was a crazy time but I’ve come through the other side.
“It’s been a really positive experience so I want to be able to tell that story.”
Speaking of his recovery, he explained: “I had surgery to get one of my testicles removed, I had a replacement put in there and then had a bit of chemo afterwards.
“But as I say, because I caught it so early on I was super lucky with the treatment.”
Jack continued: “I didn’t have any symptoms and then I found the lump and instantly I was like, ‘Oh okay this is serious.’
“But like you say, there’s such a stigma with something like testicular cancer so making that first trip to the hospital was nerve-wracking and embarrassing but it was necessary.
“Because I went and did it so quick, it meant the treatment was great.”
Lorraine airs weekdays on ITV from 9am and Coronation Street airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm.
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