Fern Britton has hit out at Coronation Street for becoming too dark following the recent male rape storyline – and her opinion has left fans divided.

The presenter took to Twitter to criticise the show after David Platt was drugged and assaulted by Josh Tucker in Friday night’s episode, though the attack itself was not shown.

Instead viewers saw David – played by Jack P Shepherd – waking up in Josh’s bed and realising with horror what had happened.

Fern, 60, was left disappointed by the upsetting scenes though and urged the show to return to lighter topics.

‘Is it looking for a post watershed slot?’ the former This Morning host tweeted about the soap. ‘Not witnessing the graphic horror/degradation/shame/pain of sexual abuse is worse than seeing it. Unsuitable for pre watershed @ITV #SaveOurCorrie’

She also clarified when replying to a fan’s comment on her tweet: ‘It’s the thought and imagination of something that makes something scary , it’s a we’ll own technique for creating drama without being explicit. But in this case , is that @itvcorrie ?’

Fern argued that she wants ‘fun and laughter, love and heart break’ rather than a large number of serious topics ‘all in one dollop’, and harked back to when the show had a ‘warm spirit’ and ‘humour’.

The TV star’s view sparked a strong reaction, with many fans disagreeing with her and praising Corrie for raising awareness of such a difficult issue.

‘It’s making a difference, breaking the stigma, isn’t that a good thing?’ one Twitter user wrote, whilst another said: ‘Totally disagree. This story line is to raise awareness of #malerape and 2mins to 9 is a great time for @ITV It to send out a message to victims that they aren’t alone.’

Fern replied to this: ‘Yes, I understand it’s an important message but is it @itvcorrie ?’

However, several followers agreed with Fern’s opinion.

‘Totally agree Fern. Soaps are getting too much, all so depressing and agonising to watch. I know real issues exist- believe me! But seriously all in one street!?’ one posted.

And another added: ‘No disputing these are issues that need highlighting, but not convinced #corrie is the right platform’

It’s since been revealed that Ofcom received 122 viewer complaints about the scenes in Friday night’s episode, which were aired just before the 9pm watershed.