Rovers Rocked

KYM Ryder is back in Coronation Street – this time with two brothers who are set to rock the Rovers.
I met up with them all yesterday on the Corrie cobbles, where there’s quite a bit of excitement about the new Weatherfield arrivals.
Earlier this year I spoke to Kym for a TV feature just before she starred as singer Michelle in four episodes.
She later cracked open a bottle of champagne when her agent rang to say Corrie bosses wanted her to become a regular member of cast.

Singer and actress Kym returns to the screen next month, this time using her married name, a switch she’s been wanting to make professionally for some time.

Over a period of weeks, viewers will be introduced to her teenage son Ryan, played by 14-year-old Ben Thompson, and Michelle’s two brothers.
Inspired by Burnage boys Liam and Noel Gallagher, one is actually called Liam. He’s played by local lad Rob James-Collier.
Originally known as Rob Collier, he’s had to change his professional name because of a clash with another actor of the same name.
I first interviewed Rob in December 2004, just before he made his TV debut in Born and Bred. You can read that feature here.
Continuing the Oasis theme, and slightly confusingly, older brother Paul is played by an actor called Sean Gallagher, who has had a string of TV roles, including a recent appearance in Doctor Who.

They all make up the Connor family. Wigan-born Kym has already been filming for several weeks. Currently based in St Albans, she’s moving back to the Manchester area with former EastEnders actor husband Jack Ryder and her two children. It’ll be the first time Jack has lived in the north.
Kym, 30, never ducks a question and always talks with openess and honesty about her life. She was on good form yesterday, and obviously delighted to be back as Michelle, who will pull more than pints when she becomes the 41st barmaid to work at the Rovers.
Rob, 29, is just as excited to have signed up for at least a year in Weatherfield. His mum is a huge Corrie fan. He’s also already filmed a number of episodes.
Paul, 40, is the relative newcomer and will be the last of the Connor family to arrive on screen – for now. Although he’s originally from Luton, he long ago mastered a Manc accent.
For those who can access hard copies, there’s a story running on Pgs 1 and 3 of today’s MEN. The story is also online here.
My video journalist colleague Yakub Qureshi also came along to meet the Connor clan and shared an orange juice with Kym in the Rovers. You can see his film report here.
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