Hello and welcome to today’s edition of A Slice Of Soap.
If we’re looking at casting coups, who should win the grand prize? Well recently, Coronation Street has had Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen – Gandalf himself. Now producers have apparently signed up Bollywood star Ayesha Dharker to join the cast.
The soap bosses were forced to take action, according to The Sun, after being criticised for being "too white". A study last month by equality chief Trevor Phillips slammed soaps for only portraying black and Asian stereotypes. The Street’s Asian corner-shop owner Dev Alahan – played by Jimmi Harkishin – was given as one example of such stereotyping.
However, I personally think that it’s his occupation that might be the stereotypical aspect more than anything else. Dev is now Corrie’s court jester – he’s a figure of fun and no where near as stereotypical as EastEnders’ Masoods. Anyway, Dev’s gonna get more action. He’ll be at the centre of a sizzling new plot-line in the soap, when he becomes caught in a mother/daughter love triangle, with Ayesha playing the daughter.
The 31-year-old Bombay-born actress has enjoyed a successful Bollywood career and also appeared in Star Wars Episode II and Doctor Who. She will join the Corrie cast as Tara Mandal, the daughter of Dev’s partner Nina, soon The Sun revealed. It’s not the first time Dev has been in a mother/daughter love triangle. He had an affair with both Dierdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) and her daughter Tracy (Kate Ford) – da dirty dawg. I don’t mean that horribly, I love Dev – he’s so funny.
But talking of stereotypes, does Trevor Phillips have a point? He must’ve been pulling out his hair while watching some of the portrayals of blacks and Asians on EastEnders over the past couple of decades; I’ve even found myself wondering if the ghost of Bernard Manning had possessed one or two of the scriptwriters.
That’s it for now. Join me after the Bank Holiday weekend on Wednesday for more news and gossip. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
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