The former Hollyoaks star talks to TV Times magazineabout returning to soapland as Coronation Street’s new ‘hippy’ heart-throb, Tommy Duckworth…

So is it true that you are in love?
“Yes, with dancer Jessica Derrick. We met in Marbella last summer. Looking back, it was dead romantic; we’re a fully-fledged, surviving holiday romance! I think it’s a bit early for wedding bells, but she’s definitely The One.”

What sort of character is Tommy Duckworth?
“He’s got that hippyish-ness about him because he’s been travelling. He’s quite cool, really. He turns up on the street in TOMs [a brand of fashionable canvas shoes] and doesn’t wear socks very often. I’ve not had a scene with Norris yet, but I imagine he’d look at him and think he was a right idiot!”

And will he be a bit of a heartthrob?
“He’s definitely got an eye for the ladies, but I don’t think he has that nasty edge that his dad Terry had. He’s one of those people that could say something that’s out of place, but get away with it, because he says it with such charm and charisma.”

Do you think you will cope with the attention Coronation Street will bring?
“I joined Hollyoaks when I was 15, so I kind of spent my teenage years in the public eye. It’s not always ideal and I had a couple of kiss-and-tells come out about me – there are some funny people who think that it’s a cool thing to do, but I don’t regret anything. I try not to live with regrets, anyway, because you can never change what’s happened in the past.”

Would have liked to have worked with Bill Tarmey?
“Yes, I’ve never met Bill; I’d like to have had a bit of a relationship going with Jack and Tommy. But apparently he comes to Granada all the time, so I’m sure I’ll meet him at some point.
“This Duckworth name that I’ve taken on; it’s quite daunting. There’s no other Duckworths left, and I just hope people take to the character and are happy that the Duckworth name is still staying around on Coronation Street.”