'I was a bit frightened going from one soap to another,' says Lorna

The huge news that Corrie’s first black family are set to take residence in June has actress Lorna Laidlaw, who will play the matriarch, scared.

Having played hugely popular Mrs Tembe in BBC1’s daytime soap Doctors for eight years, the actress took a leap of faith and quit last October. And now she’s returning to soap again.

“I was a bit frightened going from one soap to another,” said Lorna at a press event at the ITV studios in Manchester. “But this is huge, it’s a different beast. She’s on another scale to Mrs T. She was a great woman to play but she’s completely different from this character. I was so excited when I got offered, I couldn’t believe it!”

Doctors Mrs Tembe

From Doctors to Coronation Street – Lorna spent eight years on the daytime soap as Mrs Tembe

Lorna will play pharmacy assistant Agatha “Aggie” Bailey, who’s married to builder Edison (Holby City star Trevor Michael Georges). She’s also a fiercely loyal and devoted mum to their two sons Michael (CBeebies’ Ryan Russell), 27, an entrepreneur, and James 19 (Nathan Graham), a footballer for Weatherfield County.

The Baileys will move into No3, Norris’ old house, and take over the builders’ yard. Though a fiercely loyal family, they all have secrets, which will leak out over time.

Baileys in Coronation Street

The Bailey family move into No3. From L-R: James (Nathan Graham), Edison (Trevor Michael Georges), Aggie (Lorna Laidlaw) and Michael (Ryan Russell)

The first of these will be soccer star James’ sexuality as the family and his team mates learn he’s gay.

Producer Iain MacLeod, who’s responsible for introducing the new clan said:

“We wanted to look at homophobia in sport and in football, and also look at a modern story about a young gay man. It won’t be your usual coming-out story where we see James wrestling with his sexuality – he knows who he is.”

Coronation Street continues on ITV.