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  1. ITV Report

From The Cobbles to Ramsay Street - Ryan Thomas joins Neighbours

Former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas has joined the cast of Australian soap Neighbours. Photo: Channel 5/Neighbours

Former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas has joined the cast of Australian soap Neighbours.

The Manchester actor, best known for playing Jason Grimshaw on the ITV serial drama from 2000 until 2016, will take on the role of Rafael Humphreys.

Rafael has been described as a loner with dark secrets, and he comes to Ramsay Street to confront a difficult chapter from his past.

He will be seen on-screen in Neighbours, which airs in the UK on Channel 5, from early next year

Neighbours stars Olympia Valance, Ryan Thomas and Andrew Morley. Credit: Channel 5/Neighbours

Thomas, 33, said of his new role: "I grew up watching Neighbours so to get the chance to join the cast is amazing.

"I was on holiday with my daughter when I got a phone call from my agent asking if I'd like to play this part... I spoke to the producer and found out more - it was very different from anything I'd played before - it was quite a deep, dark story, that really interested me.

"It's a new challenge and I can't wait to start filming."

Greg Barnett, commissioning editor at Channel 5, said: "With his good looks and Corrie years under his belt, Ryan is the perfect handsome devil.

"His arrival in Erinsborough marks the start of darker times for a particular Ramsay Street favourite. Prepare to be gripped."

Thomas joined the cast of Corrie when he was 16, departing in 2016 after 16 years.

Neighbours airs on weekdays on Channel 5.