Gail McIntyre is to get a shock when she finds an intruder in her home who's intent on stealing her favourite necklace! Petty criminal Michael is played by lifelong Corrie fan Les Dennis, who talks here about his Weatherfield debut and how he feels about making the transition from game show host to actor:
How excited are you about getting a role in Coronation Street?
It is absolutely a dream come true for me because I have loved Corrie since I was a kid. I’ve watched it since the very beginning and, of course, I was famous for my Mavis impression. So many people on Twitter have asked if I’m going to come in as Mavis’s long-lost cousin.
Have you had a chance to do the Mavis impression yet in the Kabin?
No, I haven’t been in the Kabin yet. But the thing is my Mavis was on stage with Dustin Gee’s Vera, not Rita. My Mavis never met Rita - it was an unlikely pairing for the sketch. I am looking forward to going into the Kabin and talking to Rita, though. Although Thelma Barlow did tell me that if she ever got that “I don’t really know” line in a script she used to say, “I can’t say this, it’s Les Dennis’s line!”
How has your Corrie experience been so far?
It was a whirlwind in that I got the call from my agent on the Monday as I was driving to the theatre in Bath asking if I would be interested in Corrie. The screen test was the following Monday with Helen Worth and a full crew, which felt quite surreal. And then the following Monday, I was running down the cobbles in my first scene. That was awe-inspiring enough but when I go into the Rovers for the first time or the Kabin, then I’m sure I’m going to be like Charlie in the Chocolate factory.
Tell us about your first day on set...
I kept thinking that I’d love to take some photos, but I wasn’t sure I was allowed. Then someone said I could take one of myself outside the Rovers, which I was thrilled about. What was weird was that we were filming on the new set and when I asked where make-up or costume was, no one else knew either.
Did your first scene run smoothly?
The first thing I had to do was leg it out of Gail’s house and run up the cobbles and nto Michael’s van to make his getaway. And when I did the first rehearsal, someone said, “Oh, better not get in the grips’ van”. I had run down the street, seen a van and jumped in it. But the real van was behind it and I had jumped into the production van. I thought it was a bit big, but behind it was the grubby little white van.