Casting News

Paula Lane to leave Coronation Street

Coronation Street actress Paula Lane is to leave the show after six years playing troubled Kylie Platt.

Paula will be at the centre of a huge top secret storyline which will be on screen this summer. She will finish filming as she goes on maternity leave in June.

She notified ITV of her intention to leave the show a few weeks ago, the producers and writing team discussed her exit at the story conference and came up with an exciting storyline for her departure which will coincide with the timing of her maternity leave.

Writers and storyliners are now working on the details of her dramatic exit which will focus on the climax of the storyline which saw Callum Logan murdered and buried under Gail’s granny flat in the live episode last September.

Kylie and David buried Callum in the manhole during Corrie's live episode

Producer Stuart Blackburn said:

“Paula is one of the most talented and dedicated actors I know and in Kylie she has created an unforgettable Corrie character.

"I for one will miss both the character and the actor and on behalf of all at Coronation Street wish Paula all the love and luck in the world and I'm certain that Paula's future will be full of continued success.”

Paula Lane said:

“This has not been an easy decision for me to make. I have enjoyed every moment of my time on Coronation Street and learnt so much in the process.

"I have an amazing on-screen family who have become friends for life so this decision was not taken lightly. But sometimes you just have to follow your heart and I am excited about what the future has to offer both personally and professionally.”

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Michelle Connor’s old flame arrives on the cobbles

Leon Ockenden joins the cast as Michelle's ex-boyfriend, Will!

Should Steve be worried?

Michelle Connor’s marriage to Steve McDonald will be put to the test this spring when her first love arrives in Weatherfield.

Will turns up in the Rovers to book Michelle as his wedding planner but she is stunned to realise her new client is an old flame from her teenage years.

Leon Ockenden, best known for his roles in Waterloo Road and Mr Selfridge, has been cast as the charming ex-boyfriend and it isn’t long before Will and Michelle are taking a trip down memory lane.

With Steve McDonald still over in Spain helping out brother Andy, Michelle has been left running the pub and helping with Steve’s daughter Amy, whilst trying to run her own business.

And it soon becomes clear that there is unfinished business for the former lovebirds as they spend more and more time together planning the wedding.

Can Michelle and Will avoid temptation or will they risk both their relationships by letting their feelings for each other take over? Will Steve arrive back in Weatherfield in the nick of time?

Will’s first scenes will be screened in April, Leon and Kym started filming together this week.

Leon's first day in the Rovers with Kym.

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Bhavna Limbachia Joins Corrie

Sparks will fly when new girl Rana bursts onto Coronation Street.

Rana, an old uni friend of Alya’s, will set Zeedan’s heart fluttering when she arrives in Weatherfield in February to pay Alya a visit.

It’s not long before Rana’s got herself a job at the medical centre and while many of the Street’s residents have got their eyes on Rana, it seems she’s got her sights firmly set on Alya’s brother Zeedan.

Rana will be played by Lancashire born actress Bhavna Limbachia who’s previously had roles in Citizen Khan and Cuffs.

She’ll first appear on our screens on Friday 19th February and as this first on set picture shows, she’s sure to make an impression.

Talking about her new role Bhavna said:

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining the show. Being a proud Northerner - it's a dream come true!"

Producer Stuart Blackburn said:

“Rana is sharp, funny, utterly gorgeous and not a little manipulative. She's a girl who likes to get her own way and when she sets her sights on something, or someone ... well, Zeedan better have his wits about him!”

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Derek Griffiths joins Coronation Street

Actor and legendary children's TV presenter Derek Griffiths is to join the cast of Coronation Street in the new year.

Derek will play retired mechanic Freddie, a pensioner who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Kylie Platt following the death of his wife, a beauty client of Kylie's.

Derek, 69, will be known to many Corrie viewers as the face of iconic children's series Play School and Play Away during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

He also has an impressive acting CV, working with the RSC for two years, appearing in numerous West End productions (including Miss Saigon and Two Gentlemen of Verona) as well as dozens of TV shows. He has recently finished filming Silent Witness.

Motorbike loving Freddie will ride onto the cobbles in March. Through Kylie he finds new friends and a surrogate community in the Street.

Speaking about joining the soap Derek said:

"I remember being a young boy and watching Violet Carson on Coronation Street. She was a brilliant character that people loved to hate and later when I became an actor and played the villain in panto many times those are qualities I would bring to the role.

"When I came for my audition one of the first things I saw was a huge photo of Violet Carson on the wall. I am very much looking forward to walking in those hallowed footsteps."

Coronation Street Producer Stuart Blackburn said:

"I was utterly delighted when Derek accepted this role and I can not wait to work with him and see him on the cobbles, it really will be a happy new year!"

  • Casting News

Phelan Is Back!

We last saw the dastardly Pat Phelan riding off into the sunset having blackmailed Anna into sleeping with him and swindling her family out of their life savings.

How will Anna and Gary react to see the bothersome builder back on the cobbles?

Connor McIntyre started filming this week and will be back on screens in the new year!

  • Casting News

Rhea Bailey is coming to the Cobbles

Rhea Bailey has landed the role of Caz - the soldier fiancée of Kate Connor played by Faye Brookes.

Rhea played PC Mel Ryder in the Bill from 2008 to 2010. Some of her other credits include Blue Murder and The Mentalist.

She filmed her first scenes today and will be on screen in November when Caz arrives in Weatherfield for Kate’s birthday and to set the date for their wedding.

Rhea who has spent the last 4 years living in LA said:

“Too much sun isn’t good for ya’. Really excited to be swapping my surfboard for a brolly, and joining the cast on the Nation’s Favorite show!”

  • Casting News

Jailhouse Rob

Rob Donovan is to set the cat amongst the pigeons once more on Coronation Street when he starts calling the shots from his prison cell!

Marc Baylis is to reprise his role as murderer Rob later this year when viewers will see him in prison.

Rob will send a number of visiting orders to some of our favourite Weatherfield residents, a year after he got sent down for Tina McIntyre’s murder, after being arrested on his wedding day to Tracy Barlow.

Rob was forced to ditch Tracy at the alter when Carla called the police.

Rob’s reappearance spells trouble and it soon becomes clear that he holds the key a huge Connor family secret, one that he could use to his advantage.

What is Rob’s end game and could it throw a spanner in the works for Tracy and Robert’s relationship, just as it looks like Tracy’s put her past with Rob to bed and is moving on with her life!

Marc Baylis said:

"I can’t wait to play Rob again and see what he has up his sleeve, one thing is certain - prison won’t stop Rob from affecting lives on the street."

Check back for more news and exclusive previews about this exciting storyline!

Extras

  • Casting News

Here comes the Connor Clan!

Coronation Street producers have now cast the remaining members of the Connor clan who will be joining Michelle, Carla and Aidan on the cobbles.

Richard Hawley, best known for playing DI Richard Haskons in Prime Suspect, will play Johnny Connor, Aidan’s dad whilst Shrek and Legally Blonde theatre star Faye Brookes has been cast as Aidan’s sister Kate.

Aidan, played by Shayne Ward, is the first Connor to ride into Weatherfield next month - coming to the aid of old friend Carla Connor, played by Alison King, after he is contacted by his cousin Michelle, actress Kym Marsh.

Shayne's first day on the Street!

Credit: Instagram.com/coronationstreet

In September he is joined by Johnny and Kate who arrive on the Street after discovering Aidan has invested in Underworld.

Johnny Connor is a self made man forced to come out of semi-retirement. The ongoing joke is that 'everybody knows Johnny Connor' and it's not far from the truth.

He's got a big personality and revels in his well earned reputation as a man who means business. He adores his kids and though he and Aidan constantly row, their love is obvious.
Funny, charming, ruthless in business, Johnny is the sort of guy you'd be proud to call a friend.

Kate Connor is a tough cookie and more than a match for her father and brother.

Engaged to be married to Tess, a soldier, Kate is a funny and vibrant young woman full of fun and mischief. But behind the teasing and laughter, Kate is passionate about her family, there is nothing she wouldn't do for them.

Richard and Faye will be on screen from the end of September.

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