UK soap includes black family for 1st time in 60 years

FILE - In this file photo dated Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, the film set of long running British soap opera entitled 'Coronation Street', in Manchester, England. The long running TV series covering an intimate look into the lives of families in the fictional north England town, will introduce its first black family into the series, in its 59-year history, according to an announcement by Producer Iain MacLeod, Sunday April 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Super, FILE)

LONDON — The long-running British TV soap "Coronation Street" is welcoming its first black family in its 59-year history.

The soap opera is set to introduce the Baileys, a family with two sons. It will explore themes of racism and homophobia in sport, with a story line featuring one of the sons, a soccer player, coming out as gay.

The show has charted the goings-on in the fictional northern England community of Weatherfield since 1960. It has cast individual black characters but not brought in a black family together before.

Producer Iain MacLeod said Saturday he didn't really know why it has taken so long, but it "did feel sort of overdue we did this and represented modern Manchester a bit more accurately."

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