Timothy West is set to grace the cobbles on Coronation Street. The 78-year-old star of stage and screen will play carpet salesman Eric, the new boyfriend of Gloria Price, who is portrayed by Sue Johnston. A spokeswoman for the show confirmed he will make his debut next year. Timothy - who is married to Fawlty Towers actress Prunella Scales, who appeared on Coronation Street in 1961 - joins other illustrious actors who have previously appeared on the ITV1 soap including Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ben Kingsley. The Daily Star reported Gloria, who has been absent from Weatherfield in recent weeks, will return in early 2013 with Eric on her arm. Timothy became a household name in the 1970s when he played the lead role in ITV series Edward The Seventh. Other notable screen roles include Granada TV's Brass, BBC drama Bedtime with Sheila Hancock and BBC sitcom Not Going Out. Most recently, he was seen in Titanic, written by Julian Fellowes, and psychological thriller Exile. The Yorkshire-born actor recently complained about not getting much TV work. "I don't get very much work on television now simply because I haven't done very much work on television lately. The casting directors want you to have been on screen in the last month looking exactly as you do now, otherwise it confuses them," he said in an interview for Sky Arts programme Living The Life.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.