LONDON: The world’s longest-running TV soap opera, Britain’s “Coronation Street”, is to feature a Muslim family for the first time in its more than 50-year history, its producers said.

The bosses of the show, which screens on Britain’s commercial ITV network, admitted it was “bizarre” that it had not included a Muslim family before.

The characters will be relatives of Kal Nazir — a personal trainer played by actor Jimi Mistry — who joined the show set in Weatherfield, a fictional suburb of Manchester, two months ago.

They will include his two children, his mother and his father, who will be played by Marc Anwar, last seen alongside Tom Hanks in the Hollywood drama “Captain Phillips”.

“Kal and his son and daughter live with his mum and dad so we’re going to bring them on to the Street,” producer Stuart Blackburn said.

“And that’ll be the first Muslim family that Corrie’s ever had. Bizarre isn’t it?”

British-born Mistry, 41, who has starred in films including “The Guru” and “East is East”, is the son of a Hindu father and an Irish Roman Catholic mother.

The BBC soap “EastEnders”, the main rival to “Coronation Street”, introduced a Muslim family named the Masoods in 2007.–AFP