Saturday, 9 April 2016

Les Dennis takes seven week break from Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

I would have loved Michael Rodwell to have left Coronation Street last night driving the ice-cream van, with an off-key chime of Greensleeves as it trundled off the Street.  But I'm pleased to read that the actor who plays him, Les Dennis, is only going to be away from Corrie for seven weeks.

Les is starring in Alan Bleasdale's Down The Dock Road is at the Royal Court Liverpool until 9 April.

The comment comes in a very good interview with the Daily Mail today with Les. He is very honest in the interview, talking about his marriage to Amanda Holden and to his current wife, Claire. He talks about being an older dad and of course about his first few days on the Corrie set as burglar Michael Rodwell.

He says that Coronation Street’s producers have given him a seven-week sabbatical to appear in the play and he’s extremely grateful. He wouldn’t do anything to upset the apple cart in Weatherfield. ‘I love playing Michael Rodwell,’ he says. ‘I’d be happy to still be doing it ten years from now.’ His very first scene involved him slipping out of Gail McIntyre’s house, running up the street and jumping into his getaway van.

‘But I couldn’t understand why there were no keys in the ignition. Then the director said, “It would probably have been better if you’d jumped into your van rather than the crew’s big shiny Mercedes.” But I’d been running up the very cobbles I’d been watching on telly since I was a kid, so no wonder I was nervous.

‘On my first day I was walking down the corridor and there were names like Anne Kirkbride, God rest her soul, and Eileen Derbyshire and Bill Roache on the dressing room doors. I still pinch myself when I go to work. The studios are a 25-minute drive from home. I can do the school runs if I don’t have an early call. My weekends are free. I can plan holidays. It’s a joy.’

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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