‘Coronation Street’ introduces first black family in show’s history - GulfToday

‘Coronation Street’ introduces first black family in show’s history

Coronation-Street

The Baileys consist of Edison (Trevor Michael Georges) and Aggie (Lorna Laidlaw), alongside their sons Michael (Ryan Russell) and James (Nathan Graham). Twitter

Clarisse Loughrey

‘Coronation Street’ will be welcoming its first black family in the show’s 59-year history. 

The Baileys consist of Edison (Trevor Michael Georges) and Aggie (Lorna Laidlaw), alongside their sons Michael (Ryan Russell) and James (Nathan Graham). 

Although individual black characters have appeared in the past, the Baileys mark the first black family to be featured together. They are set to appear on the soap in early June. 

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.”

When asked why this hadn’t happened sooner, he 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.”

Edison will take over the builder’s yard from the Grimshaws, alongside 27-year-old Michael, while Aggie is a pharmacy assistant who will clash with their neighbours, the Barlows.

The family’s storylines will explore themes of racism and homophobia, with 19-year-old footballer James coming out of the closet in a future episode.

MacLeod said: “We wanted to look at a modern story about a young man. It won’t be your normal coming out story where we see James wrestling with his identity.

“We were quite keen that he knows who he is but has some apprehensiveness about telling his parents, has a lot of apprehensiveness about his teammates potentially finding out.

“When we meet the character he’s on the cusp of bigger things football-wise and is also aware that despite the progress we’ve made as a society, homophobia on the terraces is still fairly rampant.”

Another member of the Bailey family will join the street at a later stage, with daughter Diana yet to be cast by producers.

The Independent