Art imitates life for Corrie’s Charlie Condou

Charlie Condou, alias Coronation Street’s Marcus, talks to TV Times magazine about raising a child both on and off screen…

You’re the proud dad of Georgia, whom you are raising with long-term partner, Cameron, and Georgia’s mum, actress and friend, Catherine Kanter. How did that come about?

“Catherine and I had always talked about being parents and we had very similar ideas about bringing up children. As time went on, we talked more seriously about having a child together, because it was getting harder for her – she was approaching 40, she was still single and she was starting to worry that it wasn’t going to happen.”

And all is going well?

“I’m not saying our situation is ideal – of course it isn’t; nobody’s is – and it’s not the way many women would choose to have a child. But it works for us and we’re really lucky that we’ve managed to get to a place where we can make it as ‘normal’ as possible, for want of a better word. Georgia lives with us half of the time and with Catherine half of the time, but Catherine lives literally just around the corner, so we all see each other every day, work permitting, and spend holidays together.”

Are you a very paternal person?

“I’ve always wanted to be a dad. I don’t know why; it wasn’t one of those weird situations where you think ‘My own childhood was messed up, I want to get it right’. I had a wonderful time and I’m very close to my parents. I’ve just always wanted to have a child of my own – and now I do!”

What about your relationship on the show with Sean (Anthony Cotton)?

“It’s a really interesting situation because Sean and Marcus are two completely different types of gay men; they’re two different types of men altogether, really. Sean’s very camp and great with the one-liners, but probably not so good at life. Marcus, on the other hand, delivered Dylan in the Rovers, and he had a relationship with him back in London. He’s one of life’s carers; he’s quite responsible and mature and, in a weird sort of way, he wants to be a dad more than Sean does.”

Are you pleased with the storyline?

“Yes, I am delighted that Corrie has tackled the controversial issue of gay parenting. I’m really proud of them for that; they’ll come under a lot of criticism. Although, in actual fact, we’ve had really positive feedback. I haven’t seen anything negative at all, apart from a couple of bits on websites.”

So is it similar to Elton John and David Furnish, who recently adopted a son, Zachary?

“Not really. I know them both and I’m sure they’re doing an amazing job, but they’re in a very different world. I may be famous, but I’m not famous like they’re famous; I don’t have private jets and millions of pounds. So I think it’s probably useful for members of the public to see somebody like myself having a child, who might be on telly but is basically just a normal bloke. I still get on the tube with my daughter; I take her up to John Lewis on a Saturday to do the shopping, that sort of thing. I’d like loads of kids actually; I’d like about 10! But we’re getting on!‘