Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Exclusive! VIP Blog Post - the man who's played 10 Corrie roles

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

Actor and writer Dave Dutton has very kindly taken up our challenge for a celebrity to write about their love of Coronation Street.  Dave is a man who has starred in Coronation Street in 10 different roles. These are:
1.  Delivery man (1983) to Baldwin's Casuals
2. Eric Priestley (February 1985)
3. Gasman (September 1989) who cut off Baldwin's Casuals
4. Bert Latham (December 1990 - 18 February 1991)
5. Insurance man (July 1995) who assessed Kevin and Sally's kitchen after Bill set fire to it
6. Harry Benson (9 January & 3 July 1998; 21 - 23 April 1999)
7. Photographer (22 November 2000) when Jack Duckworth was presented with a cheque for £59,631 from Skinners bookies.
8. Photographer (16 May 2001) who photographed Curly Watts and David Platt during Curly's election campaign.
9. Gerald Unwin (2003) who attended the wedding of his niece Shelley Unwin - manager of the Rovers Return - and who liked a drink, a smoke and the ladies.
10. Clifford, the nosy neighbour of Joy Fishwick (2011). The spritely "Kung Fu" Cliff who, along with serial killer John Stape, found the body of neighbour Joy Fishwick after karate-kicking the door open. He later attended her funeral and also caught Chesney trying to snoop at the deceased's property.

In return for this blog post we've donated £25 to Dave' charity of choice which is
the Ronald McDonald House Charity

And now, it's over to Dave...

"December 9th 1960. I'm sitting with my mum in front of the telly in a terraced house in a cobbled street in the heart of Lancashire. A plaintive theme tune strikes up and we start to watch a new programme which we don't know much about. We soon will. As the action unfolds, we see characters that we recognise from the everyday life on our little  street. Mum shouts upstairs to my grandma: "Mother. Come quick and watch this new television programme!"
"What's it about?" shouts Mother.
"It's about people like us."
And it was.

But what that 13 year old lad didn't know was that over the years to come, he would play ten different characters in that very show which was to become a national institution beloved by millions. If you’d told him that on the first night of the show, he would have thought you were mad.

To be honest, I still can't quite believe it. I started doing extra work chucking darts in the Rovers; got the odd line or two and then finally landed a few episodes as a superstore owner who sold Ken Barlow new units to replace his Uncle Albert’s old sideboard.

I'd always wanted to be in the show I loved, even when I was trudging the streets as a cub reporter or, later on, writing comedy scripts for television. I'd no formal training or anything and no idea how to go about it but fate must've heard me and pushed me in the right direction. I will be forever grateful.

I won't go into all the parts I've played – suffice it to say that I've enjoyed every one of them and always had a kind reception from the cast and crew. Bill Roache has come up to me several times over the years and greeted me warmly with "Hello Dave. Lovely to see you again."

It's always a wrench to leave after every part, believe me. The highlights for me include Jack, Curly and me drunkenly holding a fox hunt in the middle of the street at night and being bashed over the head with a pan by Mavis when we chased the fox into her garden.

I also really loved playing my last part - Kung Fu Cliff: the martial arts pensioner who with a “yoko geri” kicked down a door to find one of John Stape’s many victims. It's all been good though. A dream come true.

Last year, I bumped into Liz Dawn and her husband on a cruise and we spent many happy hours talking about the Street. She told me she was hoping to appear in Emmerdale, which I'd done several times. It was great to see her materialise later on the other side of the Pennines.

Will I ever return to Coronation Street? Well I don't know the answer to that one but what I do know is I'm very thankful to have contributed in a small way to this massive part of our country’s cultural history.

Sadly, my grandma never got to see me appear in Corrie but my mum did and was extremely proud Although I don't think she could ever quite comprehend how I'd gone from watching Coronation Street in our living room to appearing on it in our living room!

Dave Dutton's website is at 
And Dave is on twitter @DaveDuttonUK

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

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