It’s been a while since the Coronation Street set has had a fresh lick of paint so we were more than a little intrigued to see that Weatherfield's hottest hangout Speed Dahl was getting a makeover.
The Indian restaurant and takeaway, run by Yasmeen Nazir and her grandchildren, has been at the centre of some of the soap’s most explosive storylines in recent years, with Yasmeen’s husband Geoff attempting to steal her shares as part of his campaign of domestic abuse against her.
Last year the restaurant was subject to a huge fire as Zeedan Nazir staged the ‘accident’ to claim a hefty insurance leaving one employee fighting for his life, and with the joint unsalvageable from the wreckage, it makes sense that it’s had to be fully refurbished.
And now fans have been treated to a glimpse of what Speed Dahl 2.0 will look like on Coronation Street’s official Instagram account, with the gallery of behind the scenes pics captioned, “Speed Daal glow up 🎨”.
The new and improved look features elaborately paisley tiling in pinks, blues and purples, exposed brickwork and a deep jade entry-way with contrasting panels in jungle and animal print.
It’s even got an Instagram-worthy flower wall (VERY 2022, tbh) for residents to pose in front of.
CHECK OUT: the most iconic Black soap stars
11 of the most iconic Black soap stars
Fiona arrived on the street in 1992 and during her six years on the show had quite the complicated love life. She was initially involved with Steve McDonald but would later get engaged to police detective Alan McKenna before having a one night stand with Steve's dad, Jim (are you keeping up?)Fiona left the street in 1998 to start a new life in Australia but in 2019 she was confirmed to be the mother of newcomer, Emma Brooker, and after much speculation it was revealed that Emma's dad was in fact... Steve McDonald.
Al is a relative newcomer to Emmerdale, making his debut in the village in 2019, but anyone who can give Kim Tate a run for her money is pretty iconic in our eyes. After initially masquerading as an investor, it was later revealed that Al was the father of Jessie Grant's son Ellis. He's since been in cahoots with Kim and is the perfect soap villain.
Felix was introduced in 2020 as an old foe of resident baddie Warren Fox, who he grew up with in a care home and used to bully. But in classic soapland fashion, there's a whole lot more to the story when Felix is revealed to be the father of Mitchell Devereux, Toby Faroe and Celeste Faroe. Absolute SCENES.
Lloyd was on the show for ten years between 2005 and 2015 and he had major Original Cast Member energy. He was introduced as a friend of Steve McDonald's and a Cabbie at Street Cars, even buying out Dev Alahan's share of the business in 2006, but later went head to head with Steve when he opened his own rival firm, Fare Ladies.
Lenny joined the cast of EastEnders in 1996, as a bartender for the Queen Vic's rival, The Cobra Club. He's best known for his affair with EastEnders legend Bianca Jackson, while she was in a relationship with Ricky Butcher, which resulted in a pregnancy scare. He eventually left Walford in 1999 for pastures new (The West End, to be precise).
James is one quarter of Coronation Street's first Black family, arriving in 2020. He's a bold character who stood up to racism when he was racially profiled by police and bravely came out as gay, despite the threat of it affecting his promising football career. Call it a hunch, but we think James might just go down with legendary status.
Denise has certainly had a time of it since arriving in Walford in 2006. Most notably, when she was kidnapped by her ex, Lucas Johnson, for failing to submit to God. While Denise was being held captive in squalor, Lucas even faked her death. She's been through a lot, our Denise, but EastEnders wouldn't be the same without her or her hilarious sister Kim.
Shirley is, of course, best known as the first Black character on a British soap. Introduced as recently as 1983, her arrival on the Street was groundbreaking but proved the TV industry at the time had a long way to go (and still does). For most of Shirley's time in Weatherfield she was in a relationship with Curly Watts, but broke his heart in 1989 before leaving the Street for good.
Hollyoaks was Channel 4's soap to rival the likes of EastEnders and Corrie, and had been marketed as being more progressive and aimed at a younger audience. Maddie was introduced as one of the original cast, and during her time on the show was kidnapped by a mentally unstable ex, Michael, who held her hostage and tried to force her to marry him. Maddie eventually left Hollyoaks in 1997 to start afresh, and we haven't heard from her since.
It wouldn't be a list of iconic Black characters without EastEnders' own Patrick Trueman. During his twenty year reign on the show, Pat has become one of the most loved faces on the Square thanks to his enduring fatherly love for Denise and Kim Fox and his cheerful disposition. An all round lovely man, Patrick is often the voice or reason and hope amid plenty of dark storylines.
The Valentine family certainly had PLENTY of drama in Hollyoaks, and Sasha - who starred on the show between 2006 and 2010 – was no exception. After a battle with heroin and sordid affair with Warren Fox, Sasha left the North for London. Actor Nathalie Emmanuel has gone onto do some BIG things since her time on 'Oaks, including roles in Game of Thrones, the Fast and Furious films and the Maze Runner franchise.
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Fans were ecstatic to see the new restaurant on screen, with one writing, “It looks so much better! But pls pls pls make Alya and Ryan get back together!”
“Looking fabulous very modern, fresh and colourful,” said another, while one more added, “Looks a lot like the Bailey’s house with the patterned hexagon tiles.”
“Love it, and love how you do all the sets..so very interesting 😀,” said a fourth.
One cheeky commenter wrote, “Roy’s Rolls could do with a makeover too” while one more even said, “Shame food is only vegetarian and doesn’t even sell booze 😞 Worst possible curry house – nightmare”.
Looks like someone’s not doing Dry Jan or Veganuary.
This week on Corrie, Alya reckons it’s time they told their gran the truth about the whole sorry money laundering/Speed Daal blaze/Hashim’s heart attack hoo-hah. As it happens, this turns out to be a terrible idea – as of course poor Yasmeen is shocked and appalled and has no interest whatsoever in letting it go and putting the dramz behind her.
Instead, she makes a speech at the restaurant launch about family values, then does something very un-Yasmeen, and disowns the lot of them, crikey!
Elsewhere, Joseph goes missing, and Tim still hasn’t got the “heart” to tell Sal that he needs a triple-bypass operation.