British actor and former popstar Adam Rickitt arrived in New Zealand this week, to join the cast of local tv soap Shortland Street
Rickitt's first tv role was as Nick Tilsley (son of Gail) on UK soap opera Coronation Street in 1997, replacing actor Warren Jackson who originally played the character.
He's the first overseas "name" to join the long running kiwi medical soap, which began on State broadcaster TV2 in May 1992, and still manages to draw a healthy young audience in its 7pm weeknight timeslot.
After Rickitt's initial 18-month stint on Corrie, he quit to embark on a pop music career in 1999, under the guidance of former Take That manager Nigel Martin-Smith.
His debut single I Breathe Again hit #5 in the UK chart (as well as being a hit overseas). His followup "Everything my Heart Desires" went Top 10, and his debut album "Good Thing" charted in the UK, USA, and Asia.
Rickitt then decided to return to acting, starring as Mark in a UK tour and West End production of the musical Rent
, followed by a few smaller theatre and tv roles.
He returned to Coronation Street in 2002, and was involved in a controversial storyline when his character was involved in the show's first gay kiss with Todd Grimshaw (played by Bruno Langley).
(Rickitt also has political aspirations, and is keen to one day become a British MP He was approved as a prospective parliamentary candidate for the UK Conservative Party (good lad), and in May 2006 was one of 100 would-be-MPs chosen for the Conservative Party 'A-list'.)
Meanwhile Shortland Street
production company, South Pacific Pictures says the 28 year old actor, singer and model "has been signed on to do a little bit of work and it will depend on how well he does as to whether it will continue".
Producers aren't yet revealing details of the character Rickitt will be playing, but with the tv show shooting ahead, his storylines won't hit New Zealand screens for a couple of months.* NZ Herald: Ex-Coro star in NZ soap* Adam Rickitt - Official Website