Fans have predicted that Hope Stape and Sam Blakeman could be Coronation Street's next Jack and Vera Duckworth, after soap bosses teased a romance between the pair.
Sam and Hope have become close friends after the pair connected following the death of Sam's mum Natasha, with Hope helping her friend to come to terms with his grief.
He has also become involved in some of her ideas, including a revenge plot following the death of Cilla the Chinchilla, with the friends spending more time together at Roy's Roll's Café.
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However, bosses of the ITV soap have now teased that their relationship is set to move to the next level, with spoilers hinting that a romance could blossom between the two.
Following the news, Coronation Street fans took to Twitter to compare them to another iconic soap couple, as one viewer said: "Sam and Hope as boyfriend and girlfriend! Another Jack and Vera Duckworth in the future?"
Meanwhile, other viewers are already making comparisons between Sam and cobbles characters such as Roy Cropper – predicting that he could follow in the footsteps of other cobbles icons as a mainstay of the show.
"Love Sam in Corrie," said one fan, while another added: "Sam is a great actor. Love his character on the show. Surprises everyone with his words of wisdom. Needs to spend more time with [Roy] Cropper."
It seems fans think the duo will have a long future together on the soap, with a fourth adding: "Sam, good actor. Hope he continues," while another praised Hope actress Isabella Flanagan, saying: "This brilliant young actress plays a blinding evil kid. She's going to be a star."
Other viewers agreed with the direction hinted by Coronation Street boss Iain MacLeod recently too, saying that even though a romance is set to develop, if it does not work out, their friendship could become as memorable as Byker Grove icons PJ and Duncan.
"Coronation Street boss wants Sam and Hope to be the next PJ and Duncan," pointed out one fan.
Producer Iain MacLeod recently appeared on Loose Women to hint at Sam and Hope's romance, but also revealed the direction that the characters could take in the future.
"With Hope and Sam, we're talking as a kind of benchmark, PJ and Duncan – Ant and Dec. What if we can take these two kids that are like, 10, and grow them for a decade into this incredibly rich friendship? So that's what we're hoping to do," said Iain.
"Obviously both those actors are so talented, they might well be on their way to Hollywood by the time they're 14! But if we can keep them, we'll try and PJ and Duncan them up!"
Coronation Street airs on ITV1 and ITVX
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