Bill Fellows, who plays Stu Carpenter, has revealed how his family finally think he’s made it in his chosen profession at the age of 65, because he’s now on Coronation Street.
‘I’ve done some lovely work in the past but for my family, I’ve arrived now. At the age of 65, I’ve arrived properly as an actor according to them!’ he says. This recognition also extends to the general public and Bill is surprised and happy at the reaction he gets. ‘It’s remarkable how many people are watching. I’ve done a fair bit of work, but I’ve never had a massive profile, like what I have now. Wherever I go now people want selfies with me, everyone’s so lovely.’
Bill’s family are die-hard Corrie fans and he was brought up watching the show with his parents. ‘My era was Ena Sharples, that kind of era,’ he says. ‘I remember it really well. I was brought up on a street exactly like Corrie. When I first walked on set, I was amazed at how brilliant it was – the back alley! Fantastic. It’s working class theatre.’
He says he has to keep reminding his sister that the people he’s now working with are not the same as the characters they play.
‘I said to my sister “I’m working with Max [Evans]/Corey” and she kept saying she doesn’t like him. I had to keep saying ‘I know you don’t like Corey, but Max is a great actor!” She found it difficult to tell the difference between the two.
‘I find it amazing, how invested people get,’ he continues. ‘Everyone talks about the characters as though they’re real. She loved, for a long time, Charlie [De Melo]/Imran, but then went off him in the end! They all love the show.’
Luckily for Bill, the family love the character he plays too. ‘I think my family likes that Stu is a decent character, everyone is really invested in it,’ he says. ‘I do wonder, if I was playing a villain, would it be the same, do you think? Perhaps because Stu is fragile but also decent, people are much nicer.