Shayne Ward cast as new Connor cousin

Women of Weatherfield watch out - there is a new Connor in town and he means business.

Aidan Connor is a distant cousin of Michelle and grew up on the same estate as her and Carla. He turns up in Coronation Street in August after hearing that Carla is having problems at the factory.

Aidan will be played by singer turned actor Shayne Ward who starts filming in the role next month.

Good looking and charming, Aidan’s arrival will set female hearts fluttering - but he’s no pushover and quickly makes an enemy of Tracy Barlow’s ex hubbie Robert Preston, played by Tristan Gemmill.

Aidan grew up with Michelle and Carla

Manchester born Shayne received a nomination at the 2012 What's On Stage Awards for his role in Rock of Ages in the West End, and appeared in Jeff Wayne’s Stage version of War of the Worlds. He has signed a one year contract with Coronation Street.

Aidan is just the first of the new Connor clan to arrive in Weatherfield and will be followed in the coming months by his dad and sister.

Like Shayne, Aidan is from Manchester and has an extended family over in Ireland.

Stuart Blackburn said:

"When Shayne came in and auditioned we knew he was up against some very stiff competition. But he blew us away from the very get go delivering a charm and a swagger that is perfect for the character. I can't wait to see him in action!"

Shayne Ward said:

"On hearing the news I had been offered the part on the show I was in total disbelief. It still hasn't sunk in. Shayne Ward the lad from Manchester, given such a role on such an iconic show - it is an absolute dream come true. I'm excited to walk down those famous cobbles.

"My family and friends know just how much this means to me and I cannot wait to do them all proud. 2015 has been a great year for me so far and I look forward to joining the Coronation Street family."

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Tracy's ex husband arrives in Weatherfield

Actor Tristan Gemmill is to join the cast of Coronation Street as the ex husband of Tracy Barlow.

Robert Preston will turn up unexpectedly at the funeral of Deirdre Barlow - to the surprise of his ex Tracy.

Grieving over the sudden loss of her mum, and newly single following the end of her affair with Tony Stewart, it isn’t long before Tracy falls into the arms of Robert.

But chef Robert has omitted to tell her one detail about his new life since they split - he is still married to his second wife who quickly arrives in Weatherfield to lay claim to her man.

Robert will land a job at the Bistro, but will he win Tracy round after she finds out the truth about his wife?

Tracy married Robert in 1996, she had an affair in 2002 and eventually divorced Robert, much to Deirdre’s dismay.

Tristan who played Consultant Adam Trueman in Casualty for five years starts filming this week and will be on screen in July. He has been signed up for a year.

His other credits include London's Burning, Death in Paradise, Atlantis and on stage in The Bodyguard.

Coronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn said:

"Tristan is a fantastic and classy actor who will bring a real gravitas to the role of Robert Preston.

"We're all delighted to have him on board and I can't wait to see him striding down those famous cobbles."

Tristan said:

"I’m excited to be joining such an iconic show. Coronation Street is a great British institution and it will be a huge challenge to meet the expectations of its devoted audience. But it is a challenge I am really looking forward to."

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Andrew Paul joins Corrie

Unlucky in love Liz McDonald is set to find herself a new man after she uncovers Tracy’s affair with Tony.

Andrew Paul will play Dan Jones

Still reeling over the betrayal she falls for smooth talking brewery rep Dan Jones when he calls to do some business in Weatherfield.

It looks as though she might have found the perfect man to help heal her heartache - but she hasn’t bargained on Dan having a secret past with another Weatherfield woman.

Former Bill actor Andrew Paul has been cast as Dan - he has started filming and will be on screen next month.

Andrew played PC Dave Quinnan for 13 years and was later seen as Billy Boothe in Where the Heart is.

Will Liz find out Dan’s dark secret before it is too late? And how will he react when he bumps into the blast from his past who could ruin his budding romance with landlady Liz?

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Paddy McGuinness lands guest role

Comedy actor Paddy McGuinness is to have a guest role in Coronation Street and he will be giving Bear Grylls and Ray Mears a run for their money!

Paddy will star in six episodes as wilderness survival enthusiast Dougie Ryan who meets up with the Tinkers and Dobbs on a camping holiday.

It isn’t long before Dougie is putting Kirk, Beth, Craig, Chesney, Sinead, Tyrone and Fiz through their paces with hilarious consequence, as he shames the boys with his expertise in all things outdoors.

Sinead, Kirk, Bethany and Craig will meet Paddy's character Dougie on holiday.

Dougie will be on holiday with his teenage daughter Caitlin who strikes up an unlikely friendship with loveable Craig Tinker.

Take Me Out presenter Paddy, whose acting credits include Phoenix Nights, Max and Paddy and The Delivery Man, starts filming next month, the episodes will be filmed on location and will transmit in August.

Coronation Street Producer Stuart Blackburn said:

“It's an absolute delight to be working with Paddy who is a talented actor with a flair for comedy that will ensure he fits right in with the Corrie cast.”

Paddy McGuinness said:

“Being asked to appear in Coronation Street was a very special moment for me.

"I remember Peter telling me how much he enjoyed his guest spot on the show and I can't wait to get started.

"It's an iconic and much loved show, not just in the UK but around the world. The character I'll be playing is very funny and I'm sure the Corrie fans will love him.”

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Goodbye Hayley

Hayley Tamaddon is to say farewell to Weatherfield - as part of one of the dramatic plots which will be central to Corrie’s huge live episode week.

Details of the storyline are being kept under wraps but the door will be left open for a possible return in the future.

Hayley joined the show in late 2013 as a Andrea Beckett, a night school friend of Steve McDonald. Her obsession with Steve caused him problems with girlfriend Michelle, but Andrea soon caught the eye of Steve’s mate Lloyd Mullaney played by Craig Charles.

Watch Hayley's first scene below.

They started dating but Andrea had kept one important detail from lovestruck Lloyd - she was married with a grown up daughter!

Having overcome that obstacle and the fact that Lloyd’s daughter Jenna objected to the relationship the couple grew closer and Andrea moved into Lloyd’s flat.

Andrea and Lloyd

Hayley will start filming her exit storyline in July and will be on screen until September, she will be involved in the live episode being screened as part of ITV’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

Stuart Blackburn said:

“Hayley has brought real magic to the Corrie cobbles, funny, energetic, totally professional and a joy to be around as a friend and colleague alike she'll be sorely missed and I'd simply like to wish her all the very best for the future.”

Hayley said:

“I came into Corrie for 3 months and have stayed for 2 years! I will be so sad to leave, I have had the best two years of my life here, it really is one big family. Everyone looks out for each other and I’ve made some incredible friends.

“I am excited about my exit storyline and the fact that it is part of the live episode. Corrie has given me a great platform to hopefully go on to work on other dramas but I’d never rule out a return to Weatherfield as I love it so much.

“I am looking forward to what the future holds but in the meantime there is still plenty more to be done here.”

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Sarah Harding is coming to Corrie

Former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding is to join the cast of Coronation Street.

Sarah will make a guest appearance in four episodes to be transmitted in the summer.

Exact details of her storylines are being kept under wraps, but she will play a feisty character who is going to make life difficult for troublemaker Tracy Barlow.

Sarah whose acting credits include Bad Day, the BBC television film Freefall, Run for your Wife and St Trinians 2: The legend of Fritton’s Gold, will start filming in May.

Sarah visited the set last year for Good Morning Britain

Producer Stuart Blackburn said:

"Sarah is proving to be a gifted and exciting actor and I'm absolutely delighted to have her on board, the viewers are in for a treat as her character will be right at the heart of a massive new story for the Barlows."

Sarah Harding said:

"I am extremely excited to be joining Coronation Street. As a fan of the show it is a huge honour for me to join the cast. I can’t wait to get started!!"

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Farewell Kal

Gym owner Kal Nazir is to bid farewell to the cobbles of Weatherfield in a dramatic storyline later this year.

Kal, played by actor Jimi Mistry, will be at the centre of a huge secret plot twist as we head towards the summer months, which will see him bow out of the show.

Details of the storyline are being kept under wraps but his departure will have a huge impact on his family and Leanne.

Jimi said: "When I was told about this storyline I felt it was a brilliant way to say goodbye to Kal and I am really looking forward to filming my departure scenes.

I have had a fantastic 18 months on Coronation Street but I never saw myself staying around forever, my life is in London and I enjoy playing a variety of roles.

– Jimi Mistry

"I want to thank Stuart and the team for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a fantastic show. This is the longest I have ever been in one job and I have enjoyed it immensely."

Producer Stuart Blackburn said: "Kal’s departure will be a big part of the fantastic spring and summer of drama on Coronation Street.

"We discussed the plot idea with Jimi and we all feel it is a great storyline which will have huge ramifications for the Nazirs and Leanne going forward.

“Jimi is a talented actor and an asset to the show and we will be sorry to see him go, but this is a fantastic exit storyline there are still many twists and turns for the character in the coming months.”

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Melanie Hill joins Corrie

Coronation Street favourite Roy Cropper is to get a new friend played by renowned actress Melanie Hill.

Melanie has been cast as Cathy Matthews, the owner of the allotment next to Roy and Sharif’s plot.

Roy and Cathy strike up a friendship through their love of the allotment and he soon discovers she is getting over the death of her husband.

Is this destined to be Roy’s first chance of romance following the death of his beloved Hayley?

Melanie is best known for her roles in Playing the Field, Waterloo Road and the sitcom Bread, more recently she appeared in Cilla playing the scouse singer’s mum ‘Big Cilla’.

Producer Stuart Blackburn said:

"Recently widowed, Cathy is an engaging yet sometimes chaotic woman. Though her indecision can drive her friends mad, behind the vulnerable front is a woman who truly does have a heart of gold."

Gentle, kind and intelligent she has more to offer than she knows and in Roy she'll find a friend who will ultimately bring out the best in her.

– Stuart Blackburn

"We are delighted that Melanie Hill has agreed to join us and take on the role. Familiar I'm sure to our audience, Melanie is an incredible actress who I know will soon propel Cathy to the heart of Coronation Street.”

Melanie Hill said:

"I'm chuffed to bits to be joining the cast of my favourite soap. I and my family grew up watching it and to actually be working on it is a dream come true. "

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