Shayne Ward has announced that he is joining Coronation Street – and can't wait to "walk down those famous cobbles". The pop star will play newcomer Aidan Connor, a distant cousin of Michelle who grew up on the same estate as her and Carla.
Described as "good-looking and charming", Shayne's character will arrive on the scene in August, after hearing that Carla is having problems at the factory.
He will set female hearts fluttering, but Aidan's no pushover. He quickly makes an enemy of Tracy Barlow's ex-husband Robert Preston, played by Tristan Gemmill.
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Shayne Ward said it was an "absolute dream" to join Coronation Street
Shayne, who has signed a one-year contract with the ITV soap, took to Twitter to reveal his exciting news. "I'm so happy right now," he wrote. "Keeping this a secret was tough. OMG.... I'm gonna be on 'CORONATION STREET' Aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhh #AidanConnor."
Shayne's future co-stars Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria Connor, and Andrew Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland, gave the singer a warm welcome online.
"@shayneTward .. Eeek finally!! welcome to the family Shayney!! #corrie #connors Xx," wrote Samia, while Andrew posted: "@shayneTward look forward to working with you on the cobbles mate, it'll be good to see you again, we'll have a right laugh."
Shayne Ward will play Aidan Connor, the distant cousin of Michelle, who grew up on the same estate as her and Carla
Shayne will start filming in June and in coming months, his character's dad and sister will also arrive in Weatherfield to make up the rest of the new Connor clan.
Shayne, 30, also released a statement, writing: "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."
Producer Stuart Blackburn also explained how Shayne landed the role. "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!"