Coronation Street is set to tackle racism in a storyline which will see Red Dwarf star Craig Charles, in the character of cab driver Lloyd Mullaney, accuse fire-fighter Paul Kershaw – who’s played by former Hollyoaks star Tony Hirst – of being racist.
Hirst is going to be accused of racist comments by Charles after he uses the phrase “playing the white man” in conversation with Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson).
Coronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn, told the Daily Star: “There’s a point when Paul, in a moment of stupidity and stress, makes one wrong remark. It’s a remark he dismisses as nothing but what it takes us into is something of pride, loyalty and principle.”
The remark is overheard by Lloyd’s daughter Jenna Kamara (Krissi Bohn), who hurries to tell her dad.
The story is set to divide Weatherfield residents into two camps, with the situation worsening for Paul when his girlfriend Eileen Grimshaw (Sue Cleaver) gets caught in the middle of things since she works with both Lloyd and Steve at the taxi office.
“It’s a story that’s going to ripple through Weatherfield and jeopardise Eileen’s relationship not just with Paul but with Steve and Lloyd as well,” Stuart added. “I think it’s one of those modern stories that will get everyone talking.”
It is likely the incident will lead to Paul’s exit from the street, after it was announced actor Tony Hirst would be leaving the show this year.