A new family is set to arrive on the cobbles of Coronation Street this spring and a very familiar face is at its head.
Former Doctors' actress Lorna Laidlaw, who played Mrs Tembe on the lunchtime soap, will arrive as Aggie Bailey, wife to Edison (Trevor Michael Georges) and mum to Michael (Ryan Russell) and James (Nathan Graham), who will make up the first black family on the Street.
The clan have bought No.3 from Norris Cole, and Edison and Michael have clubbed together to purchase the builders' yard from the Grimshaws.
A former property developer turned builder, Edison works hard and plays hard.
While wife Aggie is a pharmacy assistant and described as friendly, fun and outrageous.
Eldest son Michael, is 27, full of big ideas and schemes to get rich quick. A cheeky chappy charmer he might just be a hit with the ladies of Weatherfield - but he's also a mummy's boy, which might not help his love life!
Meanwhile, 19 year old James is a talented footballer for Weatherfield County. But he's living with a secret: how will his family and team mates react to discover he's gay?
It did feel sort of overdue we did this and represented modern Manchester a bit more accurately.
"Parents Edison and Aggie are soulmates who, underneath the banter, will stick up for each other and defend their boys when the going gets tough.
"Eldest son Michael is an exuberant, lovable dreamer with a huge heart and is the glue that holds the family together. James is Michael's younger brother and best mate, who is a sensitive lad with a secret that he fears will throw his family into turmoil and impact on his career.
"The four actors we've cast are all individually brilliant but together they have a truly incredible chemistry. I can't wait for them to hit the screen!"
When asked why the show has never had a black family before, MacLeod said: "Short answer - I don't really know.
"In the past, new families come in one at a time. I find that a harder way to do it, which is why they all turn up and you get the dynamic.
"Manchester has a large proportion of black residents so it did feel sort of overdue we did this and represented modern Manchester a bit more accurately."
"I grew up with Ena Sharples, Stan and Hilda Ogden and Elsie Tanner. As did my family, my neighbourhood and the entire country. To look at a script where Edison Bailey (my character) is chatting away with Ken Barlow couldn't be any more humbling...and a bit scary."
Lorna added: "I am absolutely thrilled to be joining this iconic show. I have grown up watching Coronation Street.
"It's the meat and two veg of the nation's soap diet. A staple, that has been a part of my family for more years than I care to remember. I've got my knife and fork at the ready...lets tuck in!"
Ryan Russell, who plays Michael, will be known to mums and dads as a presenter in the CBeebies House. He said: "It's an absolute pleasure to join the team at Coronation Street!
"It's truly a blessing and a privilege to join such an iconic show. I'm really looking forward to the challenge of exploring Michael and working with the rest of the cast!"
Nathan Graham comes to the role of James fresh from the West End: "I'm so grateful for this opportunity to join Coronation Street and be a part of this show. I'm thrilled to be a member of the Bailey family and excited to explore the difficulties James may face along the way."
The Baileys will be on screen from early June.
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