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SOAP-ER STAR Belfast actor Glen Wallace says landing a role on Corrie during a pandemic 'was brilliant'

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Belfast’s Glen Wallace will appear on screen from Friday January 29 as a business associate of Carla Connor

Belfast’s Glen Wallace will appear on screen from Friday January 29 as a business associate of Carla Connor

Alison King plays Carla Connor in Coronation Street

Alison King plays Carla Connor in Coronation Street

Glen Wallace starred as a policeman in Eastenders

Glen Wallace starred as a policeman in Eastenders

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Belfast’s Glen Wallace will appear on screen from Friday January 29 as a business associate of Carla Connor

Glen Wallace has scored a soaps hat-trick after landing a prime role in Coronation Street.

The Belfast actor has already starred in EastEnders and Emmerdale as well as his ground-breaking role in Hollyoaks tackling HIV.

After a grim year for the arts in 2020 he was delighted when Corrie bosses welcomed him to the cobbles last month as a business associate of Carla Connor.

And he’s expecting that his new character, Lucas, will have plenty of drama with four-times married Carla who’s survived a kidnapping, rape, blackmail, a kidney transplant and booze and gambling addictions.

“To get it at the end of a challenging year I was over the moon,” says Glen.

“Getting a job on Corrie at any time would be amazing but during a pandemic it was brilliant. It’s almost like you’re part of a family.

“I’ve been shooting for six weeks now and the episodes should be on screen at the end of this month.

“There is a bit of a back story between my character and Carla so if you know her storylines it will be interesting.”

He says Covid safety on set is stringent with different directors for exterior and interior scenes, strict guidelines on mask-wearing, regular temperature checks and sanitising.

And for the 44-year-old it’s another ambition achieved in an acting career that started with a Golden Olive commercial with Eamonn Holmes.

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Glen Wallace starred as a policeman in Eastenders

Glen Wallace starred as a policeman in Eastenders

Glen Wallace starred as a policeman in Eastenders

On EastEnders he played the policeman who told Ian Beale his daughter had been found dead, a scene which came just before the iconic end tune. Glen then returned to the soap for two years as part of a love triangle with cop colleague Emma Summerhayes and Max Branning.

“My first episode was with Adam Woodyatt and it was like watching an acting masterclass,” he says.

“They asked if I was OK to do it without a rehearsal so they could get his reaction first time. I said yes because it was my first day, and that scene was the ‘doof doof’ moment at the end.

“So, I’ve now got the doof doofs on EastEnders and yesterday I was sitting ‘not’ having a pint in The Rovers.”

It’s set to be a big year for the actor who is also working with EE and Bafta Scotland on the Film Stories series on YouTube.com/ee, about the arts adapting to using new technology, with Deadwater Fell director Lynsey Miller.

He says the arts have had to work round the pandemic restrictions with a new approach to auditions – that’s how he got the Corrie part.

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Alison King plays Carla Connor in Coronation Street

Alison King plays Carla Connor in Coronation Street

Alison King plays Carla Connor in Coronation Street

“Film and TV has always been at the forefront of technology with green screen and CGI and editing,” says Glen.

“I know a director in London who’s directing a show in LA. In EastEnders you’re on the set and the directors are two rooms away. It doesn’t matter if you’re 100 metres or 100 miles away.

“Normally for an audition you would prepare a piece and go into a room with a director and producer and other actors and it takes about 20 minutes. Before Christmas I had to do two self-tapes and, by the time I prepped the lighting and the sound and costume and make up, it took me about four hours.

“But it was one of those four hours that got me Coronation Street.”

Glen is also starring alongside Anna Friel in a new series of Marcella, due for release later this month, which got him a welcome trip home.

“Marcella is in Belfast and has infiltrated a gang and I’m part of her back story. There is history between us outside of the gang,” he says.

After moving to England for work in 1998 the Belfast man is now based in the Midlands where he occasionally tells people he’s from Ballymena to borrow a little bit of Liam Neeson’s stardust.

“I used to tell people at press events, ‘I’m from Ballymena, where Liam Neeson’s from’.

“It came back to bite me in the arse one night in the Lyric Theatre when I was regaling this story. Someone came up to me afterwards and asked if I knew who I’d been talking to. It was Liam Neeson’s mother.”

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