(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog November 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)
It has been nearly one year now since Kal first appeared in Coronation Street. Introduced as the ex-army pal of Gary Windass, his raison d’être on the street was to be Dev’s personal trainer. The producers certainly thought the character had potential because, twelve months on, he has now opened a gym on the street, become romantically involved with Leanne, and introduced us to four members of his family.
But does anybody actually like him?
Personally, I thought his arrival rather ridiculous: the only friend from the army Gary ever mentioned was Quinny, and he died in battle. Suddenly, the proprietor of the corner shop has a protruding waist, and so Gary stepped in with military quickness, ready to implicate Dev unto a fitness regime courtesy of his old friend Kal? It seemed silly at worst, but, okay, this Coronation Street, it takes great liberties with what might actually happen in life, and we have to accept that.
But then (as always happens) Kal settled into the street, and I still didn’t warm to him. He worked also with Nick, after his accident, and they were occasionally seen out running together, but beside that he seemed to just drift. He drank in the Bistro, in the Rovers, became friendly with the other characters, but he had no real purpose; we knew he had children, that his wife had died, but he lived away from the street, and was something of a lone bird. If you’d have taken him away he’d have been quickly forgotten.
Yasmeen was introduced as another forthright, no-nonsense activist for the greater-good in society. Given her history, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her smashing windows, and I hope we see more of this aspect to her character. In short, I love her. Most recently, she has purchased the former butcher’s shop and opened it as a community centre. This gives her solid ground on the street, and hopefully the nucleus of many brilliant story-lines to come.
So yes, the Nazirs – I’ve gone from not liking Kal at all to not like him at all but adoring his family. They are a diverse bunch, and they provide great comic relief, but with the absent mother, and the occasionally fragile inter-generational relationships, there’s something very serious about them too.
It’s been a while since the street had a new family, and with three generations to work with, I think the writers are having great fun. I for one am having fun watching them, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
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