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I can't believe millions will be watching my Street debut; Young Scot Iain de Caestecker is new kid on Corrie block.

Byline: RICK FULTON EXCLUSIVE

ONLY when he sees himself on screen will young Scots actor Iain de Caestecker really believe that he is part of Britain's favourite soap.

Still only 12 years old, Iain will play a pivotal role in Coronation Street by reigniting the famous feud between Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin.

And Iain is still reeling from winning the crucial part.

He says: "It is amazing and a bit unreal to think that millions of people will be watching what I do. I just can't wait to see myself on screen."

Warring pair Mike and Ken had patched up their two-decade old feud during the recent Freshco siege.

But the Daily Record can reveal that bitter enemies Ken and Mike are back at each other's throats within days of Iain - playing 12-year-old Adam Barlow - making his first appearance on Sunday, January 14.

And in Corrie's first major storyline of 2001, fans will find out that the Scots youngster is Ken's grandson and Mike's son - making the pair blood relations.

It is a shocking development for Coronation Street and rips Weatherfield in two.

Iain filmed his first scenes last week with William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, and screen mum Joanna Foster, who plays Susan Barlow.

He says: "I was thrilled to get the role of Ken's grandson Adam. It really is a great part. Meeting the other cast and being on the set has been amazing.

"I'm really looking forward to being in the show. It is such a privilege."

Despite his young years, Iain has a mature approach to the prospect of fame.

He says: "I can see the dangers of some actors getting big-headed, but I won't go that way. My family won't let me anyway - they are too busy pulling my leg."

Iain will turn up in Corrie when Susan brings Adam to Weatherfield to meet his grandfather for the first time.

But his mum doesn't tell him who his father is and Adam opens up old wounds as he sets about finding out.

Ken is amazed, but also devastated that his daughter has kept his grandson hidden from him for so long.

Susan was Mike's first wife - they married in 1986.

Mike, played by Johnny Briggs, chucked her out in 1987 when she told him she had aborted their unborn baby.

But that will be exposed as a lie. It seems Susan, who had grown to hate her husband, didn't think Mike would be a fit father for her child. She decided she wanted to bring up the baby on her own without any of his influence.

Adam is 12 years old and has been living up in Scotland, so has a strong Scots accent.

IN one of the biggest storylines in the Street's 40 years, Ken and Mike - sworn enemies for two decades - discover they are linked by young Adam.

The news also rocks Mike's marriage to Linda, which was already shaky after he discovered she'd been having an affair with his other son, Mark.

Iain, of Jordanhill, Glasgow, will also have some strong storylines as his character digs into his mother's past to find out who his father is.

He adds: "The storyline is a big challenge and fans will love the plot line - it will be something they can get their teeth into."

Iain, a pupil of Jordanhill Secondary and member of the Scottish Youth Theatre, will become a household name in two weeks' time. But he is no stranger to the movie world.

He appeared in The Little Vampire, which starred Richard E. Grant, and will be in the new series of Monarch Of The Glen, which starts this week on BBC1.

The Corrie part will also help him to get one step closer to his greatest ambition - being the next Ewan McGregor.

He said: "I would love to be as famous as Ewan McGregor. He is a great actor and I admire the way he is Scottish and such a big name. There are not many actors from this country who have become as well known and as admired in America and all over the world."

For such a young actor, Iain already has big aspirations and he admits to being a big fan of Coronation Street.

He said: "I like Coronation Street and have watched it with my mum. She and my twin sister Nicky enjoy it."

Scots producer Jane Macnaught was the driving force behind giving the northern soap its first Scottish star.

Jane told the Record in November that a Scots actor would have a big role in Corrie in the near future.

Iain won the part after he read out a poem at mass auditions in Glasgow two months ago.

He says: "It looks as though I will be down south for three days a week for a couple of months.

"My school has been very understanding about my acting and I am usually given homework and projects to work on while I'm away."

His first big role - at the heart of the famous Barlow/Baldwin feud - could not have been more exciting. The most famous rivalry on British television began in 1981 when Mike and Ken fought over Deirdre Langton.

Ken's car broke down on his way to a date with Deirdre and factory boss Mike stepped in and took her out to dinner.

However, Ken won Deirdre's hand when Mike stepped aside. But less than two years into their marriage, a bored Deirdre began an illicit affair with Mike.

In one of the Street's most dramatic episodes, she was confronted by both lover and husband. When she told Mike she was staying with Ken, an incredible 29 million viewers watched Ken's punch send his love rival sprawling.

THERE were more blows to come. In 1986, upset that his daughter Susan was seeing his arch-rival, Ken decided to tell her about Mike's affair with Deirdre.

Deirdre sobbed when Ken broke the news, but Susan told Deirdre she despised her and left home to live with Mike, taking his side against Ken.

Out of control, Ken burst into Mike's office and punched him. Mike retaliated by proposing to Susan, who accepted.

The feud turned violent again when they had a scrap in the Rovers Return in 1991, again over a woman, this time Alma Sedgwick.

She couldn't make up her mind which one of the two men to go out with and they came to blows over her. Mike won the fight and won the heart of the woman he made the second Mrs Baldwin.

Old age didn't calm the warring pair down. Three years ago, Deirdre faced jail for fraud and Mike's fury boiled over when he found out Ken was to give evidence against his ex-wife.

When he blasted his old love rival, raging Ken grabbed Mike and shook him in a violent tussle.

But the old adversaries kissed and made up in October last year after they were tied up together during the Freshco siege.

Mike had a panic attack during a war of words between the two and Ken saved his life by telling him to breathe slowly.

They both calmed down and came to their senses.

But, judging by our revelations, not for very long.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:1205
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