A new EastEnders special will focus on Yolande and Patrick Trueman as they focus on the aftermath of her sexual assault.

The couple, played by Angela Wynter and Rudolph Walker, have been under strain due to her struggling and Patrick’s concern for her wellbeing.

The start of May will see the BBC soap focus on Yolande and Patrick as he discovers she was sexually assaulted by her close friend and confidant Pastor Gideon Clayton (Howard Saddler).

Set over two episodes, Yolande will break her silence about the assault and Patrick process what has happened while providing support.

Previous episodes with two leads included Den and Angie Watts ending their marriage, the Sharongate affair storyline and the Slater family finding out that Kat and Zoe were mother and daughter.

EastEnders to focus on sexual abuse storyline

EastEnders executive producer Chris Clenshaw said: “When you have a story that deserves time and space to explore, and you have talent like Angela Wynter and Rudoph Walker, it felt only right to produce an EastEnders two-hander episode.

“This conversation is the most difficult that Yolande and Patrick will ever have, and an episode dedicated to them gives us a chance to tell this story truthfully and authentically.

“I’m in awe of the performances Angela and Rudolph have given and how they’ve handled such a challenging and sensitive subject matter.”

The soap has been working on the storyline with the End Violence Against Women Coalition and elder abuse charity Hourglass.

Andrea Simon, director of End Violence Against Women Coalition, previously said she hoped the storyline “helps dispel myths and stereotypes about what victims and survivors look like and how perpetrators behave, and ultimately increases understanding of sexual assault”.

She added: “Older women, black women and others who are marginalised are at the sharp end of this, with huge consequences for their access to justice and support. TV shows can play a huge role in shifting attitudes across society.”