Coronation Street’s Deirdre Barlow toy boy star unrecognisable as he lands Netflix role

Coronation Street's Deirdre Barlow's former flame, Samir, is barely recognisable in a new Netflix role, almost 30 years after his tragic departure from the soap.

Before becoming a Barlow, Deirdre, played by Anne Kirkbride, was known as Deirdre Rachid, having married her younger beau, Samir Rachid.

Samir, portrayed by Al Nedjari, met Deirdre while she was holidaying in Morocco in 1994. They got hitched and he later joined her on the famous cobbles.

However, his time on Corrie was cut short when he was tragically killed in 1995 after being attacked by a group of youths. He was on his way to the hospital at the time, intending to help save his stepdaughter, Tracey.

Al's big break came with his role as Samir in Corrie and in a chat with Yahoo, he shared: "It was my first job out of drama school."

He added: "I didn't grow up with a TV in my house and wasn't connected culturally with it at all, so I have to admit I wasn't that thrilled about it.

"I was quite a worthy, idealistic actor who wanted to do really important theatre but I left drama school on Friday and by Sunday evening I was on the set."

AI, the former soap star, has made a comeback on our screens in a new Netflix thriller, The Strays. In this suburban town-based movie, AI plays the role of a hotel manager where odd things start happening after two guests check-in.

Fans were taken aback by AI's transformation from his soap-star days. For his latest role, he sports a bushy grey beard and longer hair. Over the weekend, viewers of the Netflix film were surprised to spot the former soap legend.

One fan exclaimed on X, previously known as Twitter: "Is that Samir, Deirdre's husband?" Another added: "Watched The Strays on Netflix last night and guess who had a bit part as the hotel manager? Samir!"

AI has also showcased his talent in numerous theatre and TV shows. He notably appeared in Bridgerton as a Lord-in-waiting and on stage in W. Somerset Maugham's The Sacred Flame, playing Dr Harvester.

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