Meet Ben, the new kid on Coronation Street!
A RADCLIFFE teenager is set to become a household name after landing a part in Coronation Street.
Ben Thompson (14) will make his mark on the famous cobbled street as troublesome Ryan Connor, who moves to Weatherfield with his mother, Michelle, played by former Hear'Say singer Kym Ryder, and her two brothers, Liam and Paul.
ITV bosses hope the Connor family will cause something of a stir among the regulars at the Rovers Return.
Ben, of Warwick Road, Radcliffe, said: "I can't say too much about Ryan and the storylines, but he's very mischievous. The character is not a bad lad, but he's not a good lad either."
This is the first major role for the Radcliffe Riverside High School pupil, though he has already appeared in a number of programmes, including children's comedy Stupid on BBC2.
Ben attended an audition earlier this year for the part of Cameron, a friend of Chesney Brown, but Coronation Street bosses were so impressed that they asked him to try out for the role of Ryan.
He was successful in the audition and has been given a six-month contract, with the option to extend it to a year. He will spend two or three days each week filming and there will be a tutor on the set to make sure he continues with his school work.
Ben started filming at Granada Studios three weeks ago, and his arrival will be broadcast on August 30. He said: "The first day of filming was the strangest day of my life because I was in a room with all these famous people.
"It was unbelievable and I was totally starstruck. It was completely different to how I imagined it would be. Everyone's been really nice to me and it's going well. I already knew Sam Aston, who plays Chesney, from the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop, but I'm getting to know everyone else now as well."
Ben's first appearance in the soap is being eagerly awaited by his parents, Mark and Jane. Mark said: "Despite being around all those famous people, Ben is very grounded. He didn't really watch Coronation Street, but me and his mum like it.
"We're probably more excited than he is. We're absolutely over the moon that he's doing well and we're so proud of him. I can't wait to see him on the show."