Name: Antony Cotton
Best known for: playing Sean Tully in Coronation Street
Bio: Since 2003, Antony has played barman/machinist/keeper of Betty’s hot pot recipe (he’s a master of multi-tasking) Sean Tully in Coronation Street, who made history as the soap’s first regular gay character.
Ant’s breakthrough telly role was in Channel 4’s groundbreaking drama Queer as Folk in 1999, as the outrageously camp Alexander Perry, and pre-cobbles he also popped up in a few episodes of Ab Fab and made his film debut with a brief appearance opposite future James Bond Daniel Craig in Love is the Devil, the biopic about artist Francis Bacon.
He’s no stranger to celeb reality shows – in 2007 he won ITV’s Soapstar Superstar, in which soap actors displayed their musical talents and sang off against each other, performing a rather creepy version of Tears For Fears’ Mad World.
This led to his own ITV teatime chat vehicle That Antony Cotton Show which lasted one series, and in 2011 he entered the jungle for I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, ranking fourth (McFly’s Dougie Poynter won that year). But he came first in 2013’s Let’s Dance for Comic Relief with a tap-tastic rendition of Anything Goes, which can only bode well for Dancing On Ice.
Early award wins for playing Sean and previous reality success show a popularity with the public too but Antony can expect harsher-than-usual treatment from nasty judge Jason Gardiner, despite the fact the pair are old pals. “I’m going to be harder on him because I’ve known him for 20 years,” he said recently. “Nobody gets special dispensation from me.”
Dancing On Ice is on Sunday nights on ITV from 7th January