Former Coronation Street star Shayne Ward has opened up about the unusual circumstances that led to him joining the soap.
The X Factor star spent three years on the cobbles as heartthrob Aidan Connor, but it turns out that landing his breakout role was all due to a coincidence.
During an appearance on Steph's Packed Lunch this week, Shayne explained that Coronation Street actually got in touch with him because fans were confused over the casting of another actor.
"That was a complete stars-have-aligned moment," he recalled. "A load of people were messaging me on social media saying 'Congratulations on your new role as the bad boy in Coronation Street'."
He went on: "I thought… I'm not in Corrie. So many of them kept DM'ing me, so I Googled it and it came up as Sean Ward (who played Callum Logan) – so I finally got the connection. Because of it, they got wind of it and it generated interest from Coronation Street.
"They then contacted my management at the time and asked If I'd like to come down for an audition… I was there."
As mentioned, Shayne spent three years in Coronation Street before leaving the ITV show in 2018 in a mental health storyline that saw his character take his life.
Shayne's performance and the soap's handling of the sensitive topic earned huge praise from advocacy groups, and also won Corrie writer Jonathan Harvey a coveted Writers' Guild Award for Serial Drama.
Coronation Street traditionally airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm on ITV, with occasional Friday episodes airing for one-hour blocks at 7.30pm. There are changes this summer due to the Euros.
Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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