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10 October 2020 06:32

Todd Grimshaw returns to Coronation Street ‘under a cloud’ says new actor Gareth Pierce.

Gareth Pierce takes on the role of Todd Grimshaw on Coronation Street (Twitter) New Todd Grimshaw actor, Gareth Pierce, has opened up about what it was like to play the "battle hardened" gay Coronation Street character. Pierce will make his Coronation Street on Friday (October 9) as Todd, who became the show's first ever gay character when he was first introduced in 2001. Todd was played by Bruno Langley until 2017 – when the actor's contract was terminated after he was accused of sexual assault by two women. His character was subsequently written out of the show, while the actor was ultimately convicted. Three years later, writers have decided to bring Todd back into the mix – and the character will come face-to-face with his mother Eileen Grimshaw for the first time in three years in Friday's episode.

Todd Grimshaw returns to Coronation Street 'under a cloud' says new actor Gareth Pierce. "Todd is arriving under a bit of a cloud, as he's got himself tied up with some Manchester gangs," Gareth Pierce told Digital Spy. "Like a lot of people when they're in over their heads, he's come home to his mum." Pierce revealed that Todd has been in "some fairly shady circles" during his three years away from Weatherfield and the character will be much-changed. "It might be a slightly battle-hardened Todd that's coming back, but definitely his love for those key people in his life is there and is absolutely genuine," Pierce explained. The actor said it is an "accepted convention" in soaps for a new actor to take on an established role – and he said it is a "great advantage" as he will be playing a character with a "complex backstory". It's about taking Todd forward now and bringing what I can to the character – the qualities and instincts that make me unique as an actor. "There are really complicated and nuanced relationships between all of these characters," Pierce said. "I watched some old footage and I wanted to drill down to what those core characteristics of Todd are. There's definitely a bit of cheekiness and some arrogance on occasion." He added: "Since finding out I've got the role, now it's about trusting the casting process, really. They'd seen I'd done my research, my homework and it's about taking Todd forward now and bringing what I can to the character – the qualities and instincts that make me unique as an actor." "It's worth adding that the fantastic team of writers, directors, producers and storyliners are still in place. They've helped to make Todd into such an iconic character and all those people are still in my corner now, so I'm excited." Bruno Langley, who originally played Todd Grimshaw, pleaded guilty to two sexual assault charges in Manchester Magistrates' Court in 2017. Speaking in court at the time, Langley's solicitor claimed that the stress of playing a gay character on Coronation Street had contributed to his decision to sexually assault two women. CORONATION Street fans have moaned about Todd Grimshaw's 'face transplant' after the character made his big return to the soap. Todd make his hotly-anticipated comeback to the cobbles on Friday night and is now being played by actor Gareth Pierce. 5 Gareth Pierce has made his debut as Todd Grimshaw Credit: PA:Press Association 5 He replaces disgraced actor Bruno Langley Credit: Rex Features Gareth was recast as Todd after original and now-disgraced actor Bruno Langley was sacked from the ITV1 soap for groping two women. But viewers have complained that Gareth looks completely different to the character they previously knew. One tweeted: "Unrecognisable... the face transplant went well then #Todd #Corrie." Another added: "Has Todd had a facelift and Botox.." 5 Fans have complained that Gareth looks completely different to Bruno Credit: Free for editorial use 5 Some joked that the original Todd had undergone a 'face transplant' Credit: Rex Features A third wrote: "Well I'm glad Eileen recognised Todd.... coz no one here did. #corrie." A fourth complained: "The new Todd on #Corrie so funny he looks so unlike the original he may as well have been blonde! "My goodness casting peeps we're not stupid." Gareth was announced as the 'new' Todd by Corrie bosses in August. 5 Gareth made his debut on Friday night Credit: ITV It came after original actor Bruno was fired three years ago for groping two women by the crotch and breasts on a boozy night out in Manchester. Bruno had starred in the soap as Todd for 17 years. Todd's return to Weatherfield had been highly anticipated by fans as a result, with Gareth making his debut appearance on Friday October 9, 2020. Viewers watched as shocked Eileen Grimshaw found a note that led her to a warehouse, where she was confronted by her son - now played by Gareth. Most read in TV SERIOUSLY STRICT Maisie Smith shows off toned body ahead of Strictly Come Dancing debut BULGE IS BACK The Boys creator hints hero with super-sized manhood Love Sausage will return TAY BRIDGE Scots Succession star Brian Cox says Dundee link makes Logan Roy his evil twin WALTZING IN Strictly line-up put on the glitz in official photos ahead of launch show 'Strictly selfie' Soap star Maisie Smith shows off toned legs behind the scenes at Strictly Just minutes earlier during the hour-long episode, police had told the horrified mum they had found a body that they believed to be Todd's. While at the warehouse, the pair were left facing immediate danger after a mystery man - who is known to Todd - turned up and threatened them, proving that his life is still embroiled in trouble. Once out of harms' way, Todd tried to convinced Eileen to go and identify the dead body and tell police it was him.