Coronation Street recently celebrated 60 years on our screens, but the nation’s longest running soap (or Serial Drama, as the awards call it) has made history once again with the introduction of the Bailey family – the street’s first all-black family – and actor James Bailey who is their first black, gay footballer. We speak to actor NATHAN GRAHAM about the role, his storylines and the importance of representation in the media when dealing with such issues as homophobia and racism.
1. What is your acting experience before you joined Coronation Street?
Before Corrie, I was doing musical theatre in London, performing in shows on the West End which was an amazing experience and feel lucky that I was apart of some great shows such as Miss Saigon and Dreamgirls to name a few.
When I was working on Dreamgirls, I wanted to focus more on my acting. So, I decided to invest in myself by taking different acting classes/workshops and also did a year-long acting course. After putting in some hard work and lots of auditions for different TV shows, I booked Corrie which is my first TV job.
2. The introduction of The Baileys was a big milestone in the history of soaps, how does, and did it feel to be part of that?
I don’t think I was expecting the reaction to the news of the Bailey family arriving on the street to be as big as it was! It even reached across the pond with an article in the New York Times. To me, that showed how big of a milestone this was for Corrie which already has a wealth of history. To be a part of its history is something I am incredibly proud of. We will always be known as the first black family to move in on the street and nobody can take that away from us. To be part of all the above is a blessing and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity and everything that has happened so far.