Casting News

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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  • Casting News

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.

  • Casting News

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."

  • Casting News

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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