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Monday 2 December 2013

Introducing Jimi Mistry as new Corrie character Kal

Introducing Jimi Mistry, who I had the privilege of interviewing recently at ITV.

Monday night's episode this week saw Dev trying to get into shape, but soon he will have more than a walking work station in the shape of Jimi Mistry, who many will recognise from the film East is East or the soap Eastenders, and is joining Coronation Street as Kal, short for Khalid. He will play the role of a personal trainer and his mission is to get Dev into shape.

Kal will also be instrumental in helping Nick Tilsley recover and become fully fit. Jimi spoke highly of Ben Price who plays the part of Nick and was fulsome in his praise of Ben for his warmth and the terrific welcome he showed.

Clearly, to be a personal trainer the actor has to look the part and indeed be the part. Jimi told us that he believes in the mantra, ‘Be the best you can be’ - and who can argue with that?  As a result,  Jimi is putting himself through his paces and he spoke in particular about a form of exercise called ‘cross fit’ which is the exercise Jimi’s character Kal will be recommending to his clients and urging them to try  as part of their training regime.

Coincidentally, Jimi was already involved in this kind of training before he got the call from Coronation Street, so from that point of view, the character of Kal is perfect for him.  Exercise and diet are very important to him too, and it shows.  Whatever regime he’s been following, it is certainly working as he looks very healthy on it.

Jimi was in Eastenders from 1998-9, and since then he’s been working in a number of different countries. After roaming around the globe, Jimi was keen to get back to Britain. He is 40 now and is getting married again soon to Flavia Cacace from Strictly Come Dancing. Jimi says Strictly changed his life. From a very young age he loved to dance, practising Michael Jackson’s moves in his  parents’ garage. Interestingly it was only after the show that Flavia and Jimi got together and he proposed on New Year’s Eve.

Jimi feels that Coronation Street’s reputation is second to none and who can disagree? He was keen to join Coronation Street, but was surprised and delighted to be invited to join so swiftly.

In his role as Kal, Jimi plans to make a real impact in Britain’s best loved show. He is keen to invest a lot into his character, which will, he readily admits, mean hard work.  He said that he had a process for learning lines but when he told the cast about his process, they said that that would change and he’d be learning his lines the night before.  Also it has taken some time to get used to the way in which the scheduling and the filming are organised, but he has now mastered it.

Asked which female character, if any, Kal might enjoy a relationship with, Jimi had no news. It is worth emphasising that he is single when he comes to the cobbles, so it surely must be the case that there will be a woman at some point, who will be rather taken with handsome Kal.

There is though, real sadness in Kal’s life. His wife has died and he has children, one of them a teenage son, who, true to form, being a teenager, is somewhat challenging.

Jimi himself has a twelve year old daughter, who lives in France with her mum, though he sees her regularly, so his experience of Street teenagers will be just in time for him.

A couple of amusing questions were put to Jimi, one being whether he would, if given the opportunity, change the theme tune to Coronation street. He said he would not change it fundamentally but he would add a little Billie Jean bass line - and who wouldn’t like a sample of that?

Another question was about whether there was anyone in particular he would like to shoot a scene with and he told us that Norris was probably at the top of his list.  Maybe if Kal opens a gym, which seems to be on the cards, we would be able to see Norris joining and breaking a sweat on the treadmill.  And how good would that be?

Asked if he was ready for the attention from both press and public, Jimi confirmed that he was.  Good job really, as it is a certainty that this very pleasant and charming man will be receiving lots of attention from both. He’ll be  a strong male character and The Street is in need one.

Do please excuse the pun, but it’s irresistible. It seems that there is a mystery (geddit) behind Kal’s arrival in Weatherfield.  On the surface he is undoubtedly charming and inspiring in his work, but there is a whole other side to Kal. Of course, Jimi cannot give away what this side is, but it certainly adds intrigue.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing him in Corrie. I quite enjoyed him in The Syndicate.


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