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Corrie producers cast new factory boss

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Corrie producers cast new factory boss

Rex Features

Coronation Street producers have cast a new factory boss to replace Carla Connor when actress Alison King departs for maternity leave in the New Year.

Mancunian actor Craig Kelly - most noted for his role as Vince Tyler in Queer As Folk - will play cool-headed charmer Luke Strong, one of Carla's (Alison King) former business associates.

As Carla and Tony's (Gray O'Brien) marriage begins to break down at the start of next year, Carla decides enough is enough and escapes Weatherfield, leaving Tony and the rest of the Street's residents oblivious as to her whereabouts.

Tony gets the shock of his life, however, when Luke turns up at Underworld and announces that Carla has left him in charge while she is away. Luke quickly becomes a hit with the factory girls and soon makes the decision to buy Carla's 60% majority shareholding in the business, much to Tony's dismay.

A spokesperson for the ITV soap said: "It looks like Tony may have met his match in Luke Strong. He’s a bit of a mystery man and Tony doesn't know what his motives are for buying into the business or how he knows Carla. Luke is certainly going to make things difficult for Mr Gordon."

Kelly, who can also be heard narrating Channel 4's desert island reality show Shipwrecked, begins filming in the New Year and will first appear on screen in February.

Alison King is due to finish filming and commence her maternity leave just before Christmas.

Earlier today, it was announced that former Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham has been cast as a potential new love interest for Ken Barlow (William Roache).

> Click here to read our recent interview with Alison King Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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