Coronation Street spoilers follow.
Coronation Street has confirmed a new character will be arriving in Weatherfield as part of a school bullying storyline, which will draw in current young characters Dylan Wilson and Liam Connor.
The plot, which will unfold over the autumn, will introduce new character Mason, a dangerous Year 11 boy who attends Weatherfield High, played by Manchester actor Luca Toolan.
Viewers will get their first glimpse of Mason in an episode airing tonight (September 11), when he is seen making fun of Ruby Dobbs – an incident which leads to Ruby's sister, Hope Stape, confronting him.
Unfortunately, this is only the start of Mason's nasty behaviour, as he soon decides to take Dylan under his wing, before choosing Liam as their new victim.
In the coming months, Mason's torment of Liam will escalate, which will lead to Dylan's dad Sean Tully and Liam's mum and stepdad Maria Connor and Gary Windass all pointing the finger of blame at each other's sons.
Will Dylan realise how dangerous Mason's influence is before it's too late?
Actor Luca Toolan has described Mason as "a bad guy", revealing that the storyline will "get dark" as it goes on.
"I found out about the extent of the storyline on my first day through Liam [McCheyne, who plays Dylan] and Charlie [Wrenshall, who plays Liam] as they were given a lowdown as to what's happening," he said. "They told me it was going to get dark. It's exciting to be here, but there's also more pressure and responsibility to do this storyline justice."
Revealing more about what we can expect from Mason, Toolan said: "He's a very angry and disturbed soul. People are like that for reasons. Hopefully in the future, we might be able to explore a little bit more of why he's become the way he's become. But the advice I would give to him is go to therapy and get the help that he needs."
He went on to call Mason a "lunatic", adding that in real life he "would stay away from people like Mason".
The actor went on to say that he is having fun portraying his villainous character, suggesting that he would like to explore all facets of him.
"My favourite film is The Joker, so I like looking at characters that are damaged," he explained. "One thing I really want to do with a character is show the vulnerable side. So there's a lot of room and a very high ceiling for the exploration of the character."
McCheyne also opened up on the hard-hitting storyline, explaining that Dylan's desperation to fit in may end up getting him into trouble.
"I think my whole description of Dylan is that he just wants to fit in. He wants to make friends no matter what, probably because of his previous encounters in London," he said.
He added: "He wants to fit in with the cool kids and be like them. He doesn't want to be what he was in London – it's a total change to who he previously was. It's almost like a new start for him and he can have a bit of freedom so I think that would make him very easily influenced."
The actor also said that he doesn't think Dylan fully understands what he might be getting himself into by hanging around with Mason, calling him "very naïve".
"I think Sean realises how dangerous Mason's influence is, but Dylan ignores him quite a lot," McCheyne said. "Mason isn't a true friend to Dylan, but as I've said he's very easily influenced so I don't think he realises what he's getting himself into."
The actor added that he thinks Dylan's surprise alliance with Mason is a mix of him wanting to fit in and also being scared of the bully.
"I think there's an element of both, especially when we start hearing of what Mason has done and we don't actually know what else he's capable of doing," he said. "Ultimately, we're not going to go against him."
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.
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