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Michelle Collins joins 'Coronation Street'

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Ex-EastEnder Michelle Collins attending the Tesco Magazine 'Mum Of The Year' awards

© WENN

Former EastEnders actress Michelle Collins and Taggart star John Michie have joined the cast of Coronation Street.

The pair are to appear in the roles of Stella and Karl, a brand new couple who will take control at the Rovers Return in the summer.

Corrie bosses made the announcement exclusively on Facebook this morning following their recent promise to share big news with the soap's online fanbase.

Speaking of her casting, Collins commented: "I am honoured to be joining the cast of Coronation Street. The show has been part of my life since I was a child so to become a part of it is extremely exciting."

Michie added: "My mum is from Rochdale, my wife is from Grimethorpe - they are both northerners and huge fans. I am from even further north so it is the only soap for me."

A new era for The Rovers will begin when Steve McDonald brings Stella into the business as bar manager after a string of rows with his wife Becky leave the pub's future in jeopardy. Steve is hoping for a quieter life with Stella in charge, but he later gets more than he bargained for when she moves in Karl and her feisty daughter Eva, who has not yet been cast.

Sparks are expected to fly between Stella and Becky as she makes her mark at the pub with a warm but no-nonsense attitude. However, her personality soon starts to go down well with the punters.

In a further twist, Stella is hiding a dark secret and news of her past has been tipped to have "shocking consequences" for some of the street's most-loved residents.

Corrie's executive producer Kieran Roberts said: "I'm thrilled to be welcoming John and Michelle to the cast of Coronation Street. As Robbie Ross in Taggart, John has kept viewers on the edge of their seats for the last ten years. Karl is a very different character for him, though, and the ladies of Weatherfield need to watch themselves as this sexy charmer will quickly make his presence felt.

"Michelle's acting credentials are first class with more than a decade leading some brilliant and memorable drama series. Of course Michelle's soap credentials are superb and in the same way she made Cindy Beale one of EastEnders' most memorable bitches, I am certain she is going to be fantastic as the warm, funny, steely, flawed and larger-than-life northern matriarch Stella."

He added: "Karl and Stella's fiery marriage is sure to keep viewers hooked through 2011 and beyond."

Collins and Michie will begin filming at Coronation Street next month and appear on screens for the first time in June.

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