Paul O’Grady compares Coronation Street to war-torn Syria

Veteran TV star Paul O’Grady has hit out at violent scenes in Coronation Street and said the soap is now more like Syria than working class Salford.

The Blind Date host compared the bitter conflict in the Middle East with recent storylines on the ITV show, which have included one that focuses on a serial killer’s campaign of violence.

When asked if he still liked the soap, O’Grady said: “It was about working class life in a little street, but now it’s like Syria.

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“There used to be these wonderful vignettes in the Rovers – a conversation over nothing.”

The comments appear in an interview published on Tuesday in Best magazine.

O’Grady is known for his drag act Lily Savage (Gareth Cattermole/Getty)

10 days ago, civilians in the Syrian city of Douma were targeted in a chemical attack which sparked retaliatory strikes by the US, UK and France.

Syria’s bloody civil war has raged for more than seven years since President Bashar al-Assad launched a crackdown on protests linked to the Arab Spring movement in 2011.

The conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions more.

A major recent storyline on Coronation Street has involved killer Pat Phelan, who secretly kept another resident of the street captive for 10 months before going on to carry out a string of murders.

The soap, which first aired in 1960, is set in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on Salford in the northwest of England.

Syrian Government fighters on a tank

The Syrian civil war has been ongoing since 2011 (George Ourfalian/Getty)

O’Grady, 62, also recently made headlines after revealing he almost died while filming a new documentary in India.

He contracted a virus during the making of For the Love of Dogs after playing with two wounded street puppies.

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O’Grady had been warned to steer clear of strays while filming. “But I was lying in the gutter with these two gorgeous little puppies,” he told The Mirror.

“I’m feeding them by hand and flicking maggots out of a rat bite, and of course I must have touched my mouth or my face – you forget.”