Corrie's Jim flying back to open exhibition
Actor Charlie Lawson, who makes his comeback as Jim McDonald on Coronation Street on Friday night, has an engagement even closer to his heart back home in Northern Ireland the following day.
For Charlie (48) is coming back to open an exhibition on Saturday called A Stitch in Time, which features the celebrated Taylor-Woods lingerie factory in Enniskillen where his father Quinton was once managing director.
"I remember the old place. My late mother Muriel, who died a couple of years ago, was my dad's secretary and then his PA and they devoted a lot of years to the factory where women's clothing and stockings were manufactured," he said.
"Dad, a former Hurricane pilot in Burma in World War II, is 86 and now lives in Scotland, but he isn't well enough to perform the exhibition opening ceremony himself so I have been invited to take his place.
"And I'm delighted to do so because father still talks about Taylor-Woods and the good old days."
The factory was opened in Enniskillen in 1946, first as a hosiery plant before developing female garments. It closed down 20 years later in 1966, but is still remembered with affection in the town.
A Stitch in Time is going on in the Castle Museum and will be a major attraction with former workers and their families.
Charlie, who now lives in Cheshire, will be accompanied by his partner Debbie on his sentimental journey home.
Expect fireworks when he returns to the Street on Friday night as his fiery character ex-squaddie Jim McDonald is released from jail on the eve of the wedding of his ex-wife Liz (Beverley Callard) to feckless drummer Vernon (Ian Reddington).
"I'll be back in the cast until the New Year when Jim kind of disappears again," says Charlie without divulging the plot in the run up till Christmas.
"Will I be back permanently? That remains to be seen. I'm busy with a lot of work elsewhere, but I always enjoy working in the Street."