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Coronation Street boss discusses arrival of Ed and Ronnie's dad

Coronation Street boss discusses arrival of Ed and Ronnie's dad
Coronation Street boss Iain MacLeod says that new arrival Serge Bailey will provide "a massive dose of good fun".

The arrival of the Bailey patriarch on Coronation Street will provide "a massive dose of good fun", according to exec producer Iain MacLeod.

Comedy legend Ram John Holder, known for the sitcoms Desmond's and Porkpie, has joined the cast of the soap as Serge Bailey, father to Ed (Trevor Michael Georges) and Ronnie (Vinta Morgan).

Serge's Weatherfield debut just before Christmas will come at a key moment for the Bailey family as Ed relapses with his gambling addiction.

"Ed's gambling so far is something that's existed in backstory and we've seen him tempted a couple of times over his time in the show, but we thought actually, there's a huge unexplored storyline there for us and Ed's gambling was it," MacLeod told The Sun.

"But the addition of the dad was an effort to try and contextualise a bit about what's made Ed what he is. Generally speaking, and I know it's a kind of pap psychological take on it, but addictions come from somewhere, normally. And we just thought, 'What is it about their shared history, the dynamic between the two brothers, how their home environment might have caused Ed to have this vulnerability in his personality?'

"So here comes the dad to help us fill that out. He's also a massive dose of good fun across the episodes where he arrives because he's a kind of incorrigible sort of cheeky banter-filled pain in the neck really, depending on your perspective.

"Him and Ronnie are like two peas in a pod, whereas the same behaviour rubs Ed up the wrong way and we'll start to understand via that what might have been driven Ed in this direction."

He continued: "The run-up to Christmas is on the surface of it very fun with the addition of the dad, but underneath it all Ed's problems are spiralling and mounting and it culminates in him hitting rock bottom shortly before Christmas where, in an effort to keep the wolves from the door, he's forced to do something extremely upsetting, let's say, for him and commit what he would see is a really awful betrayal.

"I think from a viewer point of view, it's desperately sad. I haven't seen the scenes, but Ed will feel like he's let himself down in the worst conceivable way. I think from a viewer point of view, they'll find it very sad.

"You know, this is a desperate man who's obviously had his issues over the years that has been driven to a point of desperation where he's done this thing, but it's very nuanced, it's very multi-layered.

"Obviously, inevitably, it stays a secret for a time but then there's an explosive storyline that deals with the family discovering what it is that he's done, and he's kind of cast out into the wilderness and then there's a kind of loyalty battle between the children as to which of them is going to be sticking by their dad and which of them is going to cut him adrift."

Coronation Street continues Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

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