Sir Ian McKellen wants to make a return to Coronation Street as scoundrel Mel Hutchwright, reveals Antony Cotton.
Cotton – who plays barman Sean Tully – has been speaking about his actor friend’s desire to do another stint on the ITV soap.
“Ian did say to me, ‘I think it’s about time Mel Hutchwright maybe made a reappearance’,” Cotton tells RadioTimes.com.
Of course, novelist Hutchwright – who was actually called Lionel Hipkiss – didn’t exactly leave with the best reputation on the Street, what with conning money out of the Weatherfield’s book club members.
Indeed, Cotton says of his storyline, which was specifically written for McKellen, “It had a start, middle and end. It was a very special cameo.”
But it’s been almost ten years since his three-week stint. A lot changes around Weatherfield, so perhaps he can come back a changed man? And it seems Cotton is your man if you want to pop up on the Street.
“I got Derek Jacobi in with nobody knowing. He had his back to the audience, his back to the Rovers. I snuck him in,” he adds.
Even pop star Cheryl Fernandez-Versini’s 2013 charity cameo for Text Santa was meant to be centred around Cotton’s character Sean Tully.
“It was supposed to be me that won her heart. I couldn’t film it. She was supposed to fall for Sean, quite naturally,” he reveals.
“Julie Walters has said she’d like to do it. Paul O’Grady nearly came,” he continues, as he ponders the cameos he’d like to see. Pushing the question back onto his questioner, Cotton asks who’d we like to see make an appearance on the soap. David Beckham, I suggest.
“That’s who splits up Sean and Billy!” Cotton laughs, referring to his upcoming romantic storyline with the parish vicar.
“I don’t think Corrie needs cameos,” he continues, “But when one comes along that’s like Ian playing Mel Hutchwright, then it’s glorious, because it’s meant to be. It’s not shoe-horned in.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below: