Talented young actress doing her hometown proud in nation's best loved soap

Sonia with her fiance Arron Machin
Sonia with her fiance Arron Machin

Top soap Coronation Street is tackling one of its most hard hitting and controversial storylines in its 57 year history.

And a young actress from Burnley is at the centre of the heartbreaking grooming plot that has seen one of its most popular characters, teenager Bethany Platt, played by Lucy Fallon, fall into the clutches of an evil Svengali like character.

Sonia with her parents, Ben and Pam and brother Lee

Sonia with her parents, Ben and Pam and brother Lee

Sonia Ibrahim, plays the role of Mel Maguire, who be-friends Bethany and entices her into the clutches of Nathan Curtis, played by actor Chris Harper.

But there are heavy hints that Mel herself has also been a victim of the predatory Nathan.

Sonia (28) is giving nothing away on what has been a harrowing storyline that continues to twist and turn as poor Bethany struggles to come to terms with her ordeal and summon up the strength to give a statement to the police.

"There is still more to come so you will have to wait and see," said Sonia who won the part after her agent landed her an audition with the show she has grown up watching.

Sonia with fellow Coronation Street star Lucy who plays Bethany Platt

Sonia with fellow Coronation Street star Lucy who plays Bethany Platt

She said: "I went along and never expected to get the part in a million years.

"So when they rang to say I had I was literally jumping for joy, I could not believe it."

The news was broken to Sonia while she was working at the family business, Continentals cafe in Burnley ,which her parents, Ben and Pam set up 15 years ago.

"It has been a dream come true for me," said Sonia. "Coronation Street is an institution so to be part of it is almost unreal at times.

"I consider myself to be very lucky."

Any nerves that Sonia may have felt when she walked on to the "Corrie" set soon melted away as the cast made her feel so welcome and part of the family.

Sonia added: "I have learned so much from them all and it has been a privilege to be involved with such an important storyline that has really made people think

"The cast work so hard but so do the crew who are there before us to set up and still there after we leave."

Growing up in Burnley Sonia dreamed of being an actress.

A former pupil of Briercliffe Primary School, the former St Hilda's RC High School and Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School Sonia went on to study at Leeds Metropolitan University.

She followed this with an intensive nine week course at the New York Film Academy where Sonia studied acting for film.

On her return to the UK Sonia got herself an agent. After some corporate and commercial work Sonia was offered a part in a show that ran for several weeks at the 53two Theatre in Manchester.

Modest and reserved about her success, even though she is now based in Manchester and her acting career looks set to fly, Sonia still has her feet firmly on the ground and works regular shifts at Continentals with her parents and also her brother Lee who works there.

She said: "My family and friends have been so supportive of me and also our many regular customers who have followed my career.

"To know they are behind me means the world."

Undoubtedly one of Sonia's biggest fans is her fiance, Arron Machin who surprised Sonia with a romantic proposal at Manchester Town Hall.