Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel has said that he does not want his evil alter ego Frank Foster to become a cliched soap villain.

The 41-year-old revealed that he had worked hard to make the character as believable as possible – and he did not want to end up being another Richard Hillman or Tony Gordon.

“I’ve never sought a label, I’ve never wanted a label,” Andrew said. “I have a character called Frank Foster and I think he’s a bit of a one off. I don’t think he fits into any mould.

“He’s not a nice man. People keep calling him a baddie and that’s an understatement if you ask me, but I think he’s a bit different than what’s been before.”

Andrew – who confessed to having watched the show since he was six years old – added that he was an expert on past Corrie villains.

“I can name all the baddies in order and I think there’ve been some amazing baddies and some OTT ones,” he admitted.

“While I’ve known that this vein of darkness was always in Frank, I was very keen not to play that out front all the way through. We’ve worked very, very hard from day one.

“He’s not been the cliched, run-of-the-mill moustache-twiddling villain. I think we’ve played it very straight and I’ve tried to keep him mysterious and made him as human and believable as possible.

The actor added that he had been “really fortunate” to be able to play Frank, especially given his lifelong devotion to the soap.

“It’s been an absolute gift as an actor and as a fan of Corrie. It’s been a gift to be involved in it, hard as it was,” Andrew said.