The first photos of Shayne Ward in character as Coronation Street's newcomer Aidan Connor have been released ahead of his debut on the soap on 21 August. The former X Factor winner will play the cousin of Michelle Connor, played by Kym Marsh, and has admitted that he would love to emulate her success on the ITV soap.
"What she has done is incredible," he told The Mirror. "I think Kym's signed on again and this will be her tenth year. If I can have the same longevity that she has that would be great."
Shayne Ward will star as Aidan Connor in Coronation Street
Described as "good-looking and charming", Shayne's character arrives later this month after hearing Carla is having problems at the factory. However he quickly makes an enemy of Tracy Barlow's ex-husband Robert Preston, played by Tristan Gemmill.
The 30-year-old is not the only famous face to appear on the cobbles this year; Paddy McGuiness is set to make a cameo as wilderness survival enthusiast Dougie Ryan, while Sarah Harding has recently starred in four episodes as Joni Preston.
Shayne's character arrives to help out Carla at the factory
Although Sarah received mixed reviews for her acting, Shayne has insisted he is prepared for any criticism, following his performances in the West End productions of Rock of Ages and The War of the Worlds.
"I've had years to deal with that. I think it's always good to have a little bit of nerves to add into your performance," he told The Telegraph. "But being pigeon-holed and then doing something different, it would have been perceived the same when I went from winning The X Factor to playing an American rock star in Rock of Ages. Then going to play the Artilleryman in The War of the Worlds.
"Again, you're with established actors but I can deal with it. It's one of those things – I use it as my strength to kind of go, 'Well do you know what, I'll prove you wrong.' It helps."