The remaining members of the Bailey family will make their Coronation Street debut tonight, including actress Lorna Laidlaw, who is playing pharmacy assistant and vivacious matriarch Aggie.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining this iconic show I grew up watching. It’s the meat and two veg of the nation’s soap diet – I’ve got my knife and fork at the ready so let’s tuck in!” the star said recently.
Where have you seen Lorna Laidlaw before?
The actress is, of course, best known for her eight years playing kooky practice receptionist Mrs Tembe in BBC daytime drama Doctors. Viewers with children of a certain age may also recognise Laidlaw from her years on CBeebies, where she was a presenter on Tikkabilla and a regular cast member on Grandpa in My Pocket as Miss Smiley.
Other screen appearances include guest roles on Blue Heaven, Playing the Field and Emmerdale, in the latter of which she appeared as Gaynor Hayes in 2004.
Will Aggie become friends with the Barlows?
The Baileys first week on the Street has already seen them clash with Ken, who has been left aghast at the noisy renovation work taking place at No 3. But Laidlaw doesn’t expect this animosity to last long:
“We need to be friends with Ken – go to the top and the rest will follow,” she joked to Inside Soap. “We have to get in with Ken, Once we’re comfortable on the Street and everybody is comfortable with us, we’ll have to host a housewarming. The Baileys will throw the best parties!”
What will be the Baileys’ first major storyline?
Once the family are embedded into Coronation Street, their first big plotline will focus on football-playing son James (Nathan Graham), who we first met a few weeks ago when he clashed with stressed-out cabbie Steve. James’s budding sporting career comes under the spotlight when he comes out as gay and finds himself the victim of homophobia in the football industry.
“We wanted to look at homophobia in football and do a modern story about coming out,” said Corrie producer Iain MacLeod. “James knows who he is but he is apprehensive about his teammates finding out. He’s on the cusp of bigger things in his football career and aware homophobia on the terraces is fairly rampant. He’s scared about the reaction.”
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