Teenage actor Jonathan Dixon will soon be bringing mayhem to Weatherfield - as the tearaway son of Coronation Street's new family.

Jonathan, a pupil at Idle theatre school Stage 84, has landed the role of the Morton family's son, Darryl.

Jonathan, 18, of Pudsey, beat hundreds of young hopefuls to the high-profile role - and in the end it was between him and another Stage 84 pupil, 17-year-old James Varley.

The trouble-making Mortons are described as an "unruly but tight-knit bunch" who make their appearance in the soap next month. They will move into murdered builder Charlie Stubbs' house and open a fast-food takeaway in Diggory Compton's old bakery.

Head of the Morton clan is dad Jerry, played by former Broookside actor Michael Starke, who is bringing up his children single-handedly since his wife left.

His eldest daughter, Jodie, helps to look after her siblings, strong-willed 12-year-old Kayleigh and teenage twins Mel and Darryl, who is played by Jonathan.

If Jonathan is daunted by the prospect of starring in the nation's top soap, he has a pal on hand to help out. Pudsey actor Jack P Shepherd, who plays sly teen David Platt on the Street, is a lifelong friend of his.

Stage 84 principal Valerie Jackson revealed that Jack appears in Jonathan's first scene in the soap.

"Jonny and Jack were childhood pals, they lived on the next street to each other and grew up together," she said. "They both came to Stage 84 as children and have gone on to do really well."

Jonathan and Jack made a popular comic double act in Stage 84's Spectacular show in 2005, performing Hakuna Matata from The Lion King together.

Jonathan is no stranger to TV roles, having played bully Mooey Humphries in Grange Hill for four years.

The new Morton family will appear in Coronation Street on March 18.

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