Coronation Street is planning on introducing its first lesbian character.

A source at Granada told the News of the World: “Violet was pinpointed as the one character they could take down that route. It does seem ridiculous it has never been explored on Corrie but that’s all about to change.”

Popular barmaid Violet Wilson would have been Corrie’s first lesbian character, had her straight relationships with Jamie Baldwin (Rupert Hill) and Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas) not proved so popular with viewers.

There has been no official announcement about when the first lesbian character will be treading Weatherfield’s famous cobbled streets.

A source from Granada, the company that produces Corrie, told the News of the World : “Corrie lags behind on issues of race and gender.

“Executives want to create a soap which is representative of society in 2008 and they are acutely aware they need more gay characters.”

Coronation Street began in December 1960 and had its first gay storyline in 2003, when Todd (Bruno Langley) kissed a sleeping Nick (Adam Rickitt).

Todd was left out in the cold as Nick remained straight.

Despite Corrie creator Terry Warren’s openness about his homosexuality, the soap has lagged behind EastEnders, Emmerdale and Brookside in its running of gay story lines.

The first gay couple to appear as a regular storyline in a soap opera were Colin and Barry on BBC1′s EastEnders in 1986.

The London-set soap currently has openly gay Christian played by John Partridge, who has been welcomed by critics as a realistic portrayal of a London based, thirty something gay man.

In 1994, Brookside’s first lesbian kiss between Beth Jordache and Margaret Clemence excited tabloid interest.

No major UK soap has yet featured a same-sex ‘marriage’ storyline.

Corrie has one LGBT card to play over all other soaps – an Ian McKellen cameo. The founding member of Stonewall appeared in the soap in May 2005, fulfilling one his life’s ambitions.

Some are suggesting the introduction of a lesbian character has sprung from the popularity of Sean Tully, Weatherfield’s stereotypically gay character.