Coronation Street are plugging the huge hole that will be left by the exit of Carla Connor (Alison King) later this year with not one but three new members of the Connor Clan…

And there’s a good chance one of them, Kate Connor (played by Legally Blonde theatre star Faye Brookes), will be of special interest to Sophie Webster (Brooke Vincent).

Sophie’s still mourning the loss of her girlfriend, Maddie, in an explosion caused by the fire at Carla’s flat.

And Kate is engaged to Tess, a soldier.

But that doesn’t mean anything in soapland.

“Kate is a funny, vibrant young woman, full of fun and mischief,” says  Corrie.

Just what Sophie needs.

Kate is the sister of Aidan Connor, played by Shayne Ward who, as already reported, will be the first of the new branch of the Connor family to arrived in Weatherfield.

Aidan’s cousin, Michelle (Kym Marsh), sends him a distress call, when it becomes clear that Carla has overplayed her hand with her gambling.

Aidan will first appear in August and, the following month and will buy into Underworld. He will be followed the following month by his sister, Kate, and his father, Johnny, played by Richard Hawley (best known for playing DI Richard Haskins in Prime Suspect).

“Johnny’s a self-made man forced to come out of semi-retirement,” adds Corrie. “The ongoing joke is that ‘everybody knows Johnny Connor’ – and it’s not far from the truth.

“He’s got a big personality and revels in his well-earned reputation as a man who means business.

“He adores his kids. He and Aidan constantly row but their love is obvious.

“Johnny’s funny, charming, ruthless in business but the sort of guy you’d be proud to call a friend.”

Or, in the case of Liz McDonald (Beverley Callard), maybe, call a “lover”…

Coronation Street continues on ITV, Monday, July 27, 7.30pm.