A DOG is set to take the soap world by storm when he stars in Coronation Street -- after receiving acting lessons in Accrington.

Teddy -- or Mr Woo as he will be known -- started rehearsals this week for his role as Rita Sullivan's new pet.

The three-year-old shih-tzu was auditioned and trained by Accrington businessman Kevin Horkin.

Teddy beat off competition from 50 other four-legged friends, including two Hyndburn top dogs, to win the part and has been busy training at Kevin's home in Haslingden Old Road, Oswaldtwistle, as he prepares for stardom in his own storyline.

"I auditioned one in Accrington and one in Great Harwood but in the end I went for Teddy. He's the son of a champion and he seemed to have the best temperament," said Kevin.

"He's passed around from character to character so it's got to be a dog that is happy dealing with lots of different people and he was the one. He just had that little bit of extra something."

Teddy is set to hit our screens in October in a storyline that will run until just before Christmas.

He will stay with Kevin all next week to be put through his paces under studio conditions.

Kevin will be on set and Teddy will also have his own beautician on hand to groom him.

"We have been training him for about a fortnight because in the storyline he has got to growl and take a dislike to a character. He is so easy to work with, he's a real showman. I will be very surprised if he doesn't pick up a soap award next year."

Teddy is not the only Corrie star with a local connection. Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley Cropper, Vicky Entwistle, who is Janice Battersby, and Malcolm Hebden, otherwise known as Norris, all live in the area.