Jude joined the ITV soap as Sam back in 2020 and quickly captured viewers’ hearts
Jude Riordan was quickly taken into Coronation Street fans’ hearts when he joined the soap as plucky youngster Sam Blakeman. Sam is the son of Nick Tilsley and the late Natasha Blakeman, and didn’t meet his father until he was nine years old, as Natasha and Nick had split up before Natasha knew she was pregnant.
A chance encounter at Weatherfield General in 2020 caused Nick to find out that he had a son. Bright and with a passion for astronomy, Sam was very close to his mother. However, Natasha was tragically shot dead by gangster Harvey Gaskell in 2021, leaving Sam mute from grief, until Hope Stape helped him out of his shell, as did Roy Cropper and games of chess.
More recently, Sam was left seeing more than any young boy should when there was an armed raid at the Bistro, owned by his dad Nick, after Nick went into business with Harvey’s brother, Damon Hay who had been using the restaurant as a cover for a drugs operation.
Sam ended up wanting to visit Damon in prison, just like he did Harvey, after the drug lord sweet-talked him with gifts and gave him advice over bullies at school. It is then that Nick had to come clean about who Damon really was – leaving both Sam and partner Leanne furious, with the latter kicking him out of their home.
Since then, viewers have seen Sam strike up a relationship with Hope. Earlier this week, the friends revealed that they had become an item and their proud parents beamed about them becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. Hope’s mum and dad Fiz and Tyrone Dobbs cooed over the pair as they sat together on the sofa before heading off on a date to the cinema.
Sam went all out sporting a suit for the occasion, while Hope, played by Isabella Flanagan, showed her disgust as her proud parents tried to get a snap for the memory box. And, as she continues to wrap Tyrone around her little finger, the mechanic then paid for the tickets for their first date – and the confectionery to chow down on while watching the movie.
While they wouldn’t let their on-screen parents take a picture, actors Jude and Isabella did pose for a behind-the-scenes snap from filming of their first date. Taking to Instagram, Jude posted the image and said: “Sam & Hope’s first date.” Meanwhile, Isabella, whose twin brother also stars in Corrie as Joseph Brown, shared the same photo and shared a sweet message to her co-star.
“First date with my best mate in the whole entire world!!! @justjude7,” she wrote. And fans were rushing to comment on both posts, calling them the ‘future’ of the ITV soap.
But Corrie isn’t Jude’s only TV role – as he also shares a link to former Corrie favourite Michelle Keegan. The 11-year-old plays Tyler Croft in Brassic, the son of Michelle’s character, Erin. Jude and Michelle, who played Tina McIntyre in Corrie from 2008 to 2014, have worked together on the hit Sky comedy since the first season in 2019.
The series follows the lives of Vinnie O’Neill and his friends in the fictional town of Hawley. Before the first episode had even aired, it was announced that Brassic had been renewed for a second series, which premiered in May 2020.
Filming for the fifth series of the BAFTA-nominated comedy started late last year, with viewers promised ‘more of the eccentric plans and hi-jinks from the Brassic gang’ following the fourth series, which was broadcast from September last year.
Last month, Jude declared his part in series five of the popular show as ‘wrapped’. Taking to Instagram, the youngster shared a beaming snap of himself posing next to some special artwork. “THAT’S A WRAP ON BRASSIC S5 for Tyler Croft,” he cheered. “Another great series. Great cast. Great crew. The best times!”
Explaining the images, he added: “And the greatest wrap gift I have ever been given. I’ll keep it forever. Art work by the super talented Joe Gilgun.” Joe, who is famed for playing Eli Dingle in Emmerdale, and Woody in the hit film This Is England, stars as Vinnie O’Neill in the series.
Jude then returned to Instagram with some more snaps from his last day on Brassic series five alongside Michelle and co-star Oliver Jones, who is set to play the role of Seb in the new series. Jude and Oliver were seen posing on either side of Michelle, 35, who was keeping warm in a big puffer jacket over her character’s floral dress and blue fluffy jacket.
“Been too busy to post,” Jude started the caption of his post on Instagram, which is looked after by his mum. “Tough week in school – Year 7 Assessment Week,” he admitted before adding: “All done till next time. Hope all the other Year 7s who’s had a tough week are as happy as I am its FRIDAY.” The TV star went on to explain: “These are pics from my last day on Brassic 5 from the other week. Had a really great last day, love it when there’s other kids on set.”
While many will know Jude from Corrie or Brassic, his rise to fame actually began in 2017 when he appeared on the Channel 4 documentary, The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6-Year-Olds. His first acting job also came in that year, when he starred in CBBC’s Katy. Taking to Instagram earlier this week, Jude shared a look at his cast card from the show.
The youngster, who proudly hails from St Helens, Merseyside, comes from a talented family as his dad has forged a successful career in showbusiness as a television director. Last year, fans were surprised to discover that the soap star’s dad, Paul Riordan, was pretty famous for his work behind-the-scenes on many a much-loved show.
Paul has forged a successful career in show business as a television director. He broke through in a behind-the-scenes role in Hollyoaks before he went on to earn directing credits for popular soaps such as Emmerdale and Casualty.
And, late last year, Paul joined his son on Corrie. Sharing a photo of himself throwing his arms around his dad while dressed in Sam’s school uniform in Nick and Leanne Battersby’s flat on the soap’s set, Jude said: “When you haven’t been well but can’t miss your first Corrie scene directed by yer Dad @paulrio27.”
He also shared a photo of himself and Paul in action alongside Ben Price, who plays Nick, and Jane Danson, who portrays Leanne. And a third image showed the father and son sitting alongside his soap mum and dad. Alex Fletcher, who plays Dianne Hutchinson in Hollyoaks, was among the first to comment, writing: “Love that,” while her former Channel 4 soap co-star Billy Price, who played Hollyoaks’ Sid Sumner, simply added a string of crown emojis in the comments section.
Fans couldn’t help but think Paul looked like Ben. @carolehumphris said: “He looks like Nicks brother.” @janes601 commented: “Your dad is the double of your corrie dad ..wow.” @ashlynnnoxo wrote: “He actually looks like nick! That’s mental. Great acting lad.” @yanvey67 added: “Omg how much does your dad and nick look alike!”
Jude actually got to work with his dad for the first time last summer. He looked proud as punch as he posed for a snap alongside Paul and former Casualty actor Michael Stevenson. “And that’s a WRAP on my first short film Something Missing,” the Corrie star shared with his thousands of Instagram followers.
Then in January this year, Jude shared some more behind-the-scenes pictures from the project and said; “We shot this last June. It’s all finally, finally finished and heading into festivals. Very proud to be a part of this. First big project working with my Dad! Very proud to highlight the role of young carers and how hard it is on them and the family. Also highlighting early onset Dementia. We know this affects so many.”
Jude also has an older brother, Zach, who joined him in some Corrie scenes last year, and the family have two adorable pet pooches who often appear on Jude’s social media account.