Monday, December 21, 1998 Published at 19:08 GMT
First Asian family joins the Street
The Desai family outside the corner shop
Coronation Street's first Asian family is being written into the soap's storylines in the New Year.
The Desai family will be moving into Britian's most famous street in January, taking over the corner shop from Fred Elliott and adding it to their string of shops in the fictional Weatherfield.
Well-known actor Saeed Jaffrey has been signed up to play the head of the family, Ravi, his daughter Nita will be played by Rebecca Sarker and Chris Bisson is taking the role of his son Vikram.
Mr Jaffrey has previously appeared in Gandhi, A Passage to India and My Beautiful Laundrette.
He has has spent around 15 years working on films in India and has recently finished his autobiography while based in London.
Mr Jaffrey said he was attracted to Coronation street because of its "wonderful scripts, beautiful characters, truthful acting and magical twists".
"Until now I had never done a soap, so doing Coronation Street is yet another exciting and challenging first," he said.
His on-screen son is a confident 20-year-old who, despite dropping out of college, "fancies himself as an entrepreneur".
Thrilled to be joining the soap, Mr Bisson said: "They have some fabulous storylines planned for the family and I can't wait to get stuck in."
Vikram's 23-year-old sister Nita will be the first of the family to be seen on the Street when she takes over from Ashley as manager of the corner shop on 8 January.
TV and Radio