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Watch: Coronation Street’s newest addition Will Mellor talks about how much his new role means to him, and his mum
With his Mancunian heritage, it’s perhaps a surprise that actor Will Mellor hasn’t already been down the cobbles of Coronation Street. His March debut as baddy Harvey has not only marked a first in his career but has also made his mum Shirley very happy.
Speaking on White Wine Question Time, the actor said his new role has finally made his mum proud.
“I'm dead chuffed for my mum because she's waited 32 years for me to be in Coronation Street,” he laughed.
“She just said when I was 12 and I started acting, 'I just want him to be in Corrie, that's all I want. I'll be over the moon.' So finally, I'm walking down the cobbles!”
Listen: Well Mellor reveals how his cat came back from the dead!
The actor, who started out his career playing Ben Rowlingson in ITV's kid show Children's Ward, said if it hadn’t been for his mum and dad, he would never have made it in his chosen career, as it was so different from what his peers wanted to do.
“I just really believed one day I'd make it,” he told host Kate Thornton.
"I just had this passion. Why can't I go and do this just because I live on an estate? My mum and dad, bless them, they stuck by me and they let me live, and try and fight, for my dreams and that's why I got the chance to do it.”
While there was no doubt in Mellor’s mind that he was going to say 'yes' to Corrie, he's worried about the response he might get from the public towards his nasty character, joking that he might just carry on with lockdown and stay inside.
“I am a bit worried about getting abused in the street because I've already been getting abuse,” he revealed.
“People are saying: 'You better leave that Leanne and Simon alone. They've been through enough'. And I'm like, ‘I'm an actor. I've done other things. I'm not a drug dealer, you know?’ Because some people live or die by it!”
His fears are perhaps justified, due to an experience he had as a teenager when playing Jackie Dixon’s boyfriend in Liverpool-based soap Brookside. His character left after he got a teenage girl pregnant, something one committed Brookside fan was not happy about.
“I'm going out to meet my mates… Walking the other way was this woman, this elderly lady,” Mellor told Thornton.
“She's walking towards me and as I get closer, she went slap and cracked me right across the face, full-handed!
“I went 'What are you doing?' She said: 'You've got that girl pregnant. You better go back there. She's only 16!' And I said 'It's not real! What's up with you?'
“I got out the other side and met my mates... And I had this big handprint on my face where this woman had cracked me. I just thought: she's a grown woman and she believed it!”
For Mellor, who has switched between comedy and drama roles throughout his career, the appeal of playing someone who gets innocent kids and parents to sell drugs for them was something he couldn’t wait to get stuck into.
“If you go into a soap like Coronation Street, you want to go make a bit of a splash,” he said.
“It’s interesting for me to play because he is an ultimate real baddie. I mean he's horrendous. It's a real character and I'm enjoying playing it!”
While Mellor is enjoying the challenge, don’t get too attached to his nasty character. He’s signed to the soap for four months, and while he’d like to possibly extend his stay, it won’t be forever.
“I always said if that Coronation Street ever come asking, I'd do it,” he told Thornton.
“I mean, obviously, I don't want to go and stay in it for five to 10 years, because I like to bounce off and do loads of different things. “
Watch: Leanne plans shock exit in Coronation Street