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Coronation Street hardman Jim McDonald is set to make an “explosive” return after being jailed for armed robbery in 2011.
The popular character, first played by actor Charlie Lawson nearly 30 years ago, is due for release and will be back on TV in the coming weeks.
Charlie, 58, revealed: “They wanted me back full time this year but I couldn’t do it as I am doing Rebus on stage, and a thriller. I’m going to film a bit but then will be back again next year.”
A Corrie spokesman said: “Jim is such a hugely popular character. We’re delighted he is coming back for what will be a typically explosive Jim storyline.”
Northern Ireland-born Charlie quit the cobbles after 11 years as Jim, known for his catchphrase “so it is”, in 2000 but returned in 2010.
He left in 2011 as Jim was jailed for trying to rob a building society so wife Liz could buy the Rovers Return.
Charlie briefly played Jim again in 2014, when he was seen menacing Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) in jail.
Producer Kate Oates recently revealed “a well-established character” would be making a comeback, with many fans speculating it could be Jim.
Jim will return as son Steve (Simon Gregson) walks down the aisle with Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) again.
They married in 2012 but immediately split up after a row at the wedding reception.
Jim will be reunited with on-screen wife Beverly Callard when he returns to screens very soon.
Charlie surprised his Corrie co-star in March last year when he brought out a Rovers Return birthday cake on Loose Women.
Charlie recently told how “the bluest, non-politically correct” behaviour was rife behind the Corrie scenes in the 1990s, when up to 20 million viewers tuned in.
He said: “We are in a different world. If you’d recorded a day of it, Coronation Street would be no more!”
*Coronation Street continues on Friday on ITV at 7.30pm and 8.30pm
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