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Inspiring role for Todd, star of the Street

She is a 16-year-old single mum about to sit her GCSEs. He is a bright working-class lad with dreams of Oxbridge. Together, Manchester council believes, they can inspire teenagers to greater academic heights.

Sarah-Louise and Todd are no ordinary youngsters, they are two of the main characters from Coronation Street. Now their home city has roped in the actors who play them to improve GCSE results.

Some 300 students and parents met Tina O'Brien and Bruno Langley, who play the teenagers, on Monday at an event designed to boost morale and reward them for their efforts so far.

The pupils are being targeted as part of a scheme to help youngsters on the cusp of achieving five Cs at GCSE. As well as meeting famous faces, they have had extra tuition, residential courses, learning seminars and an outdoor activity course in the Lake District.

Mick Waters, Manchester's chief education officer, said: "Sarah-Louise and Todd are role models for this age group. The fact that the soap is filmed locally helps pupils to identify with the characters."

Others drafted in to inspire those targeted include the Lord Mayor of Manchester; Alex Williams, a former Manchester City goalie; Geoff Thompson, a former world karate champion, and successful former pupils.

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