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Stephanie Cole to join Coronation Street cast

image captionStephanie Cole starred as Diana in BBC sitcom Waiting for God

Actress Stephanie Cole is set to tread the cobbles of Coronation Street playing Roy Cropper's mother, the ITV1 soap's producers have announced.

The 69-year-old, famed for her roles in Tenko and Waiting for God, will appear on screen as Sylvie Cropper from March.

Cole said she was "absolutely thrilled" to be joining the show and was "a huge Roy and Hayley fan".

Well-known faces that have graced the show in recent years include Sir Ian McKellen and Andrew Sachs.

The actress, recently seen in ITV comedy drama Doc Martin, said: "In any great drama, be it on television or on the stage, the writing comes first, and Coronation Street is brilliantly written.

"When I worked at Granada Television a lot in the 1980s I used to play bridge with Doris Speed [Annie Walker].

"I remember thinking, 'Maybe one day they will offer me a role on Coronation Street.' Well, that day has finally come and I am thrilled."

Cole added that it would a "privilege" to bring join the Cropper family as Roy's feisty mother.

Her on-screen son Roy, played by David Nielsen, first appeared on Coronation Street in 1995, going to become owner of local cafe Roy's Rolls.

A romance developed between Roy and transsexual Hayley, and the pair were able to legally marry earlier this year.

The couple appeared in the dramatic live episode that marked the soap's 50th anniversary on 9 December.

Coronation Street producer Phil Collinson called Cole "one of this country's finest actors."

"Life at Roy's Rolls is never going to be the same again," he added.

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