WHAT the devil? The actor who played one of Coronation Street’s most infamous villains is to play Satan in York’s Mystery Plays this summer.

Graeme Hawley, 37, was nominated for the title Villain Of The Year in the 2009 and 2011 British Soap Awards for his role as John Stape.

Now he will take on an even more devilish role in the outdoor spectacular in York’s Museum Gardens this August.

He will star opposite Ferdinand Kingsley, 24, the son of film star Sir Ben Kingsley, who, it was announced last week, will be playing both God and Jesus in the plays.

Graeme, who has also appeared in Shameless, A Touch Of Frost, Doctors, Heartbeat and Emmerdale, said he was thrilled to be taking on the role.

The pair will start rehearsing with the rest of the cast of hundreds of local amateur actors next month.

Damian Cruden and Paul Burbridge, joint artistic directors for the 2012 production, said in a joint statement they were delighted Graeme would be joining the cast.

“Graeme is a popular TV face and is of course well known by audiences of Coronation Street as villain John Stape,” they said.

“He also has a fine theatrical acting CV, he’s Northern, he has the perfect balance of experience and we’re very happy that he’s chosen to work with us over the summer.

“We’ve created two important central roles for the 2012 plays and are extremely pleased with our casting of the two professional actors. We look forward to working with Graeme and to seeing him play opposite Ferdinand Kingsley as God/Jesus.”

Graeme was at the centre of a number of major story lines in Coronation Street involving kidnap, manslaughter and murder. His character died in October 2011 after he crashed into the back of a lorry during a car chase.

He has also been seen as PC Martin Crowe in Emmerdale.

On stage, he has performed in a number of productions for the Manchester Library Theatre including Rock ‘n Roll, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead and Measure For Measure.

Most recently, he played the role of Jack in Saturday Night And Sunday Morning and Paul in Love And Money, both for Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre.