1. ITV Report

Ted Robbins arrives on Corrie cobbles - bringing romance and paranormal intrigue for Mary

Comedian and actor Ted Robbins will arrive on the famous cobbles of Coronation Street next week, bringing a little spark of romance for character Mary Taylor.

Ted Robbins will play a love interest for Mary Taylor Credit: ITV

First seen barging into the Kabin to confront Norris following an irate phone call, Robbins - best known for his role as Den Perry in Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights - plays paranormal magazine editor Brendan Finch, who soon catches the eye of Mary.

It may not be the happy ending the shopkeeper is hoping for however, as Robbins has revealed his character is married - though doesn't wear a wedding ring.

"I think he fancies himself as a bit of a ladies man," Robbins told ITV.

"He has a bit of a backbone and I think Mary likes that. She is also quite feisty when she wants to be. I think she’s instantly taken by Brendan and he is well aware of that."

The pair bond over the magazine he runs, The Inexplicable, which explores ghosts, the supernatural, UFOs, crypto-zooology and various other phenomena.

Mary is fanatical about the magazine and has almost every issue and Brendan sees her as a ‘fellow mind’ in that way.

Mary is missing an issue and wants to go out of his way to make sure she has it. It’s a very rare issue that she’s after and he’s quite taken by the fact that she’s as interested in it as he is.

– Ted Robbins
Mary is smitten by Brendan Credit: ITV

The role marks a return to acting for Robbins, who collapsed on-stage during a live performance of Phoenix Nights earlier this year.

Read: Robbins 'in pain but doing well' after on-stage collapse

He said he was delighted when he discovered his first day of filming fell on his 60th birthday.

"I couldn’t believe it when I got my first filming date and realised it was on my birthday," he said.

"After I’d finished I walked over the bridge to a restaurant over at Media City and met my family for a birthday meal. And Peter Kay came to surprise me! I felt so lucky to have had such a fantastic birthday.

"How everything has happened this year has been astonishing."

It isn't the first time Robbins has appeared in the long-running soap, having had a bit part as a prison officer during the John Stape storyline in 2009 - but he said he was "delighted" to return.

He makes his first appearance next week.