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Boyzone and Coronation Street star in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 December 2010

Keith Duffy at the Clas Ohlson store in Chapelfield on Saturday with fans

Keith Duffy at the Clas Ohlson store in Chapelfield on Saturday with fans

Archant Norfolk 2010

While he may be best known for starring in one of the nation's favourite soap operas and as a boy band heartthrob, Keith Duffy travelled for four hours and rescheduled plans so that he could visit Norwich.

The Coronation Street and Boyzone star was in the city at the weekend to help launch Chapelfield’s new home and leaisure store Clas Ohlson.

Crowds flocked to the store for the chance to get an autograph and have photos taken with the actor and singer who plays Ciaran McCarthy in the prime-time soap.

Mr Duffy’s fleeting visit to the city came just days after Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary live episode and marked his first time in Norwich since the early days of Boyzone.

The 36-year-old, who divides his time between Manchester and Dublin, said: “I was up in Manchester for the 50th anniversary party on Friday night and then I’ve got to go to London to get a flight to Edinburgh but it’s been great to come to Norwich.

“It’s always great to see people. The Street is so popular at the moment and we’ve just had the live episode so it’s good for the characters to get out and about and meet the people who support us.

“I was supposed to be in Dublin but I changed my plans to come to Norwich and it was worth it. Norwich seems very nice, it’s got lots of historic buildings and ruins.”

Mr Duffy will be leaving Corrie at Christmas but will still be on TV screens until February.

Meanwhile, he is planning on going on tour with Boyzone after the band reformed following a break of several years and will then have some time off before returning to Coronation Street.

“Working on Coronation Street is great and it’s a great place to work. The live episode was fun and I’m still alive so I’m happy,” he said.

While Mr Duffy was helping to launch the Norwich branch of Clas Ohlson, his Corrie co-star Kym Marsh was opening the new store in Doncaster.

The Norwich branch is the eleventh store in the UK and is situated in the former Borders shop in Chapelfield.

UK managing director Mark Gregory said: “We think Norwich is a very good fit for us. It’s about locating in strong city centre shopping centres and Norwich, being the biggest city in East Anglia, has a very strong retail trading environment here.”

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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