Coronation Street has cast its first black family, with the Baileys moving to the street later this year.

Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod announced the addition of Dad Edison (Trevor Michael Georges), known as Ed, and Mum Aggie (Lorna Laidlaw), both in their 50s, and their two sons Michael (Ryan Russell) and James (Nathan Graham).

Not only are they the first family of colour, their storyline will also tackle homosexuality in football thanks to James, a promising footballer who is dealing with coming out.

Producer Iain MacLeod told ITV he was "really excited" to introduce the new family and was confident the audience would love them.


"They're funny, warm and will pull together through thick and thin as we play out the stories we've got lined up for them," he said.

"The four actors we've cast are all individually brilliant but together they have a truly incredible chemistry. I can't wait for them to hit the screen!"

However the announcement has been met with questions as to why it's taken the show, which has been on air for 59 years, so long to introduce a black family.

Theatre director Matthew Xia was among those stunned by the fact it had taken nearly six decades for the show to diversify.

Xia told the Guardian: "It blows my mind that our longest-running soap, set in the heart of one of our most cosmopolitan cities, has only just introduced the idea of 'the black family' to its viewers.

"I found Manchester to be a beautifully radical place, truly diverse with strong connections between its various communities. How have the producers managed to get away with this for almost 60 years?"

When the Guardian put the question to him, MacLeod said he "didn't really know".

"In the past, new families come in one at a time. I find that a harder way to do it, which is why they all turn up and you get the dynamic. Manchester has a large proportion of black residents so it did feel sort of overdue we did this and represented modern Manchester a bit more accurately."