Emmerdale soap king Paul Opacic headed for Corrie cobbles as latest villain
12th April 2021

Legendary Emmerdale actor Paul Opacic has been cast as Coronation Street’s latest villain.

Best known for appearing as Kim Tate’s (Claire King) hubby Steve Marchant from 1993 until 1999 in Emmerdale, Paul will be ditching the Dales for the streets of Weatherfield.

He will be appearing as thuggish Corey Brent’s rich businessman father, Stefan.

Corey (Maximus Evans) has been making waves in the soap recently, rekindling his flame with youngster Asha Alahan (Tanisha Gorey) and pressuring her to take things to the bedroom.

Asha’s dad Dev (Jimmi Harkishin) is understandably upset by the revival of their relationship after Asha was dumped by Nina Lucas (Mollie Gallagher).

But Stefan’s appearance in the Street will push things to new levels for Asha as she decides to move in with boyfriend Corey, with his rich dad paying out for their flat.

Stefan is set to lock horns with Dev as he purchases Nick Tilsley and Leanne Battersby’s flat for them to live in.

A source told The Sun: "Stefan is going to cause chaos on the cobbles this year and give Dev major headaches.

"If viewers think Corey is bad, wait to see what kind of monster created him."

Paul has already begun filming his scenes and is set to appear on screens for the first time later this month.

Though notorious for his portrayal of Steve in Emmerdale, Paul is definitely no stranger to soapland – between 2010 and 2018 he also appeared as Carl Costello in Hollyoaks.

The prolific actor has also starred in shows like Waterloo Road, Doctors and Heartbeat.

Both Emmerdale and Coronation Street will make a valiant return to screens on Monday night with special one-hour episodes after they were cancelled on Friday in the wake of Prince Philip’s death.

BBC and ITV cleared their schedules in a sudden shake-up, and dedicated themselves to royal coverage instead.

Among the cancelled shows were the MasterChef final, EastEnders, Corrie and Emmerdale.

The episodes will air at the usual times on Monday evening, giving fans a chance to catch up on their favourite soaps.

Fans took to social media on Friday to share their disappointment, with one writing: "Say what you want about Prince Philip, but I just know in this difficult time he would have wanted us to be able to watch #EastEnders".

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Another added: "Why do we need a tribute to Prince Philip instead of #Emmerdale? There can’t be anything they haven’t already said about him on TV today!"

A third penned: "So stupid that Corrie is cancelled because of Prince Philip like how does that make sense."

Channel 4’s Gogglebox was the most watched TV show of Friday night, racking up more than 4 million viewers.

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