BRADFORD actor Liam Bairstow has been picking up tips from the Coronation Street cast as he finds his way around the world-famous set.

Liam, of Allerton, made his debut appearance on the Street this month, and will be back on our screens in October.

He plays Alex, a nephew of Cathy Matthews, Roy Cropper's friend, and is the first Down’s Syndrome actor in the soap's 55-year history.

"Alex is a bit of a romantic person and likes figurines on wedding cakes. He's a cheeky lad who likes to go to the pub and is a smooth talker with the ladies," said Liam, whose debut scenes were in Roy's Rolls cafe and the Rover's Return.

"Roy’s Rolls looks a lot bigger on TV than in real life, the set is really small," said Liam. "When I was in the Rovers I thought one of the walls was real - until it moved."

The 28-year-old has been picking up tips from cast members. "I enjoy working with the other actors, they’re all really nice," he said. "Beverley Callard who plays Liz McDonald and Debbie Rush who plays Anna Windass helped to calm me down on set. If I started to struggle, they helped me with my nerves.

"In a scene in the Rovers the director was teaching me how to pick up a pint glass with my right hand while reading someone’s palm at the same time. It’s great to be around so many professionals."

Liam, of Bradford theatre company Mind the Gap which trains actors with disabilities, landed his Corrie role after taking part in an ITV acting workshop.

"I went last year with about 15 other people, it was called Breaking Through Talent and I met lots of Corrie cast members," said Liam. "We learned how to perform in front of a camera and work with different camera angles. All I knew was that it was a workshop. A few months later me and my mum were called into a meeting at Mind the Gap and I was told I had got the part. I was buzzing!

"I’ve watched Coronation Street since I was young. My mum is a big fan, I've grown up watching it with her."

Liam started acting as a child. "Mind the Gap came to my school for an outreach project, I enjoyed it so much I joined their Making Theatre course, I've been there six years," he said. "Since then I've dreamed of being on TV and can't believe I've got a part on Corrie.

"The first big show I did at Mind the Gap was a national tour of Treasure Island, I played six different characters."

Liam is currently in a new stage production, Contained, premiering at Mind the Gap's Manningham studio next month prior to a tour.

Combining live performance, film, photography, music and dance, it explores small moments in life that suddenly become meaningful.

"We've all chosen stories from our past which mean a lot to us and made a show out of them with the director, Alan Lyddiard," said Liam. "It's a different type of theatre - I'm used to playing a character but this time I'm myself."

* Contained is on at the Silk Warehouse, Lister Mills, on Friday, October 16 at 1pm and 7.30pm and Saturday, October 17 at 7.30pm.