New Blanche Craig Gazey

'Coronation Street' bosses want Craig Gazey's character Graeme Proctor to fill the comedy void left by the death of Maggie Jones, who played Blanche Hunt

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Craig Gazey

Craig Gazey

'Coronation Street' bosses want Craig Gazey to be the "new Blanche Hunt".

The actor - who picked up Best Comedy Performance at the British Soap Awards at the weekend for his portrayal of dozy butcher Graeme Proctor - is seen as having a long future on the show and producers are hopeful he can fill the void left by the passing of Maggie Jones, who played Blanche.

A source told the Daily Star newspaper: "We really miss that wicked sense of humour now that Blanche has gone.

"But Craig is such an awesome actor, he can deliver lines with the same sort of comedy impact.

"The writers love coming up with his scripts. Some of the things he says aren't meant to be funny but end up being hilarious.

"Craig has the potential to be a huge star in Weatherfield."

The 27-year-old actor has also spoken out about his character's forthcoming romance with Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan), liking them to the famous pairing of geeky supermarket boss Curly Watts (Kevin Kennedy) and his glamorous barmaid wife Raquel (Sarah Lancashire).

He said: "Graeme does rather well for himself. He's been waiting nearly two years for a girl and gets possibly the best looking girl on the street - FHM top 30! So his waiting has paid off.

"Hopefully it should be a good relationship, and hopefully a lasting one. I think they're a modern-day, more relevant version of Curly and Raquel, but more chavvy.

"She's had a hard time so it would be great for her character to get into a bit more comedy because Michelle's great at it."

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