Coronation Street’s Sam star Jude Riordan opens up on brother’s health battle

Coronation Street star Jude Riordan, best known for playing Nick Tilsley's long-lost son Sam Blakeman, has opened up on his brother's secret health battle.

10-year-old Jude only joined the ITV cobbles last year around the time of the tragic death of Nick's stepson Oliver, but he's already made a huge impact on fans and regularly offers updates on social media.

And taking to Instagram this week, he shared a sweet snap of a gift his on-screen soap mum Rachel Leskovac – who played the late Natasha Blakeman – had given him.

The gift also led to Jude's reveal about his older brother's battle with Coeliac Disease.

Rachel had gifted her soap son a packet of gluten-free Oreos which he was overjoyed he could share with his brother.

Captioning the snap, Jude wrote: "When your mother @rachelleskovac sends a treat!

"My brother has Coeliac Disease so he can share them. She’s DA BEST!", accompanied by a heart-eyed emoji.

Coeliac Disease occurs when your immune system attacks the body's own tissues when you eat gluten, causing damage to the gut and leaving the body unable to take in nutrients.

Long-term complications with the condition can cause anaemia and weakening of the bones.

Jude is the son of parents Kellie and Paul, and has an older brother named Zach. And he isn't the only member of the family with connections in high places, as his dad Paul also has links to the TV industry.

The pair have even been co-stars – with Paul directing four episodes of Corrie when Jude was starring.

Paul Riordan first made a name for himself as the director of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, which he had a hand in directing from 2008 until 2020.

He went on to direct episodes of Casualty, Emmerdale and Coronation Street, the latter in 2021 when Jude was starring.

Paul was there to congratulate his son on his National Television Award win, taking to Twitter to say: "Well this is pretty special… Proudest dad in the universe!"

He followed up: "Still processing what just happened! Our boy up there following in the footsteps of the greatest in telly. Enjoy it all @JudeRiordan you deserve everything!"

Mum Kellie is also hugely proud of Jude's achievements, telling their local paper the St Helens Star upon his initial casting: "Jude was over the moon. He loves to act and feels very comfortable on set and in that environment.

"Sam loves all things space so Jude is loving learning about the Nebula Cluster."

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV from 7:30pm.

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