Calderdale high school pupil to make history as son in Coronation Street's first black family

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A former Calderdale high school pupil will be part of the first black family in the ITV soap Coronation Street.

The Baileys are comprised of father, Edison, mother, Aggie, and sons Michael and James, and will appear on UK screens in June this year and will be the first black family to appear on the cobbles in the programme's 59-year history.

Although the show has featured black characters in the past, the Baileys will be the first black family to be introduced together.

The family will feature former Rastrick High School pupil Ryan Russell who will be playing Michael.

The actor who is best known for his role as a presenter in the CBeebies House, 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!"

The Bailey family will walk into Weatherfield in Spring, first appearing on our screens from early June as they move into No.3, having bought the house from Norris.

The family is made up of Dad Edison (Trevor Michael Georges), known as Ed, and Mum Aggie (Lorna Laidlaw), both in their 50s, and their two sons Michael (Ryan Russell) and James (Nathan Graham).

Themes of homophobia and racism are forecast to be explored, with 19-year-old footballer, James, coming out as gay in a future storyline.

Producer Iain MacLeod said: “The north-west and Great Britain as a whole is a big melting pot of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities and the more representative we can make Corrie of Manchester and Britain the better really.

“It was a no-brainer, but I mean, as with anything on Coronation Street, it was the characters that came first and [the Baileys] were just instantly likeable,” he said.

When questioned why it had taken so long for a black family to be included on the soap, MacLeod said: “Short answer – I don’t really know. 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.”

Another member of the family is expected to join the clan at a later date, with daughter Diana still to be cast.

Mr MacLeod added: “I am really excited to introduce this new family - the audience is going to love them! They’re funny, warm and will pull together through thick and thin as we play out the stories we’ve got lined up for them.”

“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, loveable 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!”