Coronation Street viewers were left heartbroken following Aidan Connor’s suicide – with many praising Shayne Ward’s powerful acting and in turn resulting in him gaining a large following.
So, fans of the X-Factor star were shocked yesterday, as Shayne showed off his transformation at the Intu Trafford Centre.
In fact, some suggested the former Coronation Street star looked almost unrecognisable as he sported a full beard, longer hair and glasses.
Compared to his previous clean shaven look, Shayne’s appearance sparked quite the commotion with Twitter users saying they now ‘fancied’ him.
According to the M.E.N, the Clayton actor appeared at the Intu Trafford Centre as part of a pop-up event by business directory Yell.com, discussing the need to embrace small business in Manchester and outlining what residents can do to help support local traders.
Shayne said: “There’s such a large and rich variety of things on offer from local businesses in Manchester.
“I love that we’re putting the focus on them with today’s event. One of the things I love the most about the city is how you can discover something new around every corner and it was great to chat with the people of Manchester today. Hopefully I’ve helped point them in the direction of some of the real hidden gems in the city.”
Shayne, who left the soap in May, is now crossing over to the silver screen with a leading role in a new psychological thriller Stairs.
The actor and former X Factor winner has said he’s “buzzing” to play Will Stanton, the leader of a squad of mercenaries including one member played by his real life fiancee former Hollyoaks star Sophie Austin.
Shayne, who has a baby daughter Willow with Sophie, confirmed the news of his new film role to his fans on his official Facebook page, and said how much he was looking forward to working with Sophie on the new independent film directed by Tom Paton (Redwood) which starting filming this month.
He said previously: “It was never planned that me and Sophie would act together; we both went for parts and got them.
“We can’t believe it that we’re going to be in a film together. It’s going to be fun, she’s a great actress and I’m so proud of her.”
Shayne, who rose to fame after winning the second series of The X Factor back in 2005, played Aidan for three years.
Show writers and the production team worked closely with the charities Samaritans and CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) on the storyline about Aidan’s decision to take his own life.