Belfast actor Glen Wallace on landing a role in television soap Coronation Street
BELFAST actor Glen Wallace has described how landing a role in the hit television soap Coronation Street has been a "nice, little light at the end of the Covid tunnel".
The 44-year-old star made his debut on the cobbled streets of Weatherfield on Friday as character Lucas, a business associate of Carla Connor.
Speaking to The Irish News ahead of his first appearance on the long-running ITV series, Wallace said being part of "the Corrie family has been phenomenal".
He also said his mother Sandra, who was watching the programme at home in Belfast, was "beside herself" that her son would be starring in one of the biggest British soaps.
"The text from her went along the lines, 'you have made an old woman very happy', he said.
Wallace, who previously starred in Hollyoaks as Malachy Fisher and EastEnders as DS Cameron Bryant, began filming the new role six weeks ago.
His character arrives as a new business client of Carla Connor and it emerges they had met several years ago when she lived in Devon. It soon becomes clear they have a history together.
"There's an established relationship between Lucas and Carla, they met previously before around the time that she married Nick and she disappeared off to Devon," said Wallace.
"He's a very successful businessman, he's an alpha male, he's on the front foot - he's very proactive and I think this whole move up to Manchester and coming to meet Carla is very divisive, but it's not with any malicious undertones.
"It's a case of that he is no longer willing to miss up on life's opportunities and I think he sees Carla as one of life's opportunities that he's definitely not going to let go."
Wallace, who also played the role of Trevor Buchanan in 'The Secret' based on the double murders of killer dentist Colin Howell, said it was a dream come true to land the part in Coronation Street.
"Growing up as a kid, growing up in Belfast it wasn't really an option of being an actor as a profession, you got a proper job," he said.
"But obviously when you grew up with Charlie Lawson on the tele, Jim McDonald, there was a representation for me as a working-class lad from Belfast growing up, 'oh I know him, I know that person, I know who that guy is.
"If he can do it, then I can go and do it."
But the actor also described the difficulties over the past year in securing acting roles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I left Belfast in 1998, my previous degree was in visual communications and graphic design," he said.
"Before I went off to live the dream a lot of mates went on into a regular nine to five, Monday to Friday job.
" I think what happened was as soon as lockdown happened it gave them the opportunity to understand what life is like for an actor because you can spend six months not working, not necessarily knowing when you're going to get the next pay cheque through the post.
"The only thing that was missing was the opportunity of work.
"The auditions weren't coming through, but I decided to take the pressure of myself because I thought there's nothing I can do about that.
"To get Coronation Street in any year is a fantastic job, so to get at the end of the tail end of last year was the nice little light at the end of the covid tunnel."
The actor also said he was "loving" appearing in a soap opera again after previously having "the good fortune of being involved in a couple of the continuing dramas".
"It is one of those things that your mum has always told you, 'it's not until you go away from something or you lose something that you realise how much you missed it'," he said.
"So to be back in the soap fraternity, to be back in that family is amazing and to be in with the Corrie family has been phenomenal.
"So to be welcomed into Weatherfield and Manchester, I'm loving it."
Wallace, who now lives in the Midlands, also said he hoped his character could become a permanent face in the soap.
"I think there's legs in the character, but I also think there's legs in the relationship between him and Carla," he said.
"Then it's up to the producers and the script team to see what works on screen and if they can tease story lines from it."