Actor Antony Cotton will stay with hit soap opera Coronation Street for at least two years, it has been revealed.

The gay performer will also be given another project of his own by ITV, after That Antony Cotton Show’s five week run last year.

The light entertainment chat show in the mould of Paul O’Grady and Richard and Judy started well, attracting more than two million viewers.

However, within weeks it slumped to below 1.1m and ITV later confirmed it will not be returning for a second series.

Mr Cotton is reported to be paid £120,000 to play Sean Tully in Coronation Street. He has refused to reveal how much his new ITV deal is worth.

“I look forward to some exciting new storylines in the Street and developing future programme ideas with ITV,” he told The Sun.

Sean Tully, is an unashamedly camp, over-the-top characterisation in a show that has under-represented gay men.

The ITV soap did not have any gay activity until 2003, despite its massive gay fanbase.

Cotton gave a breakthrough performance in the classic series Queer as Folk, in the role of camp scene-bunny Alexander.

He won the Most Popular Newcomer category at the National Television Awards for his portrayal of Sean Tully in 2005 and in 2007 he took the public vote to win the singing competition Soapstar Superstar.