Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank has admitted viewers were shocked by his character’s drug use.
The ITV soap sparked complaints with a scene in which vicar Billy Mayhew took heroin in a church.
Brocklebank told Lorraine: “I think people have been shocked because Billy started off as such a sweet, amiable character… but I think it’s an important story to tell.
“Corrie’s always been at the forefront of tackling very sensitive issues.”
He said of his alter ego: “I’m hoping that he might become a better vicar because of his experiences.”
The actor said that the scenes had taken their toll.
“I’ve just come back from holiday and it was needed – I was pretty exhausted,” he told the ITV show.
British broadcast watchdog Ofcom received 82 complaints over the scene involving drug use.
An ITV spokeswoman previously said: “Coronation Street has a strong tradition of tackling serious contemporary issues in a responsible way.
“In upcoming episodes we will be showing the very negative side of drug-taking as Billy’s life starts to fall apart.”