Ben Price knows exactly what Michelle Collins is going through as she settles into Coronation Street.

While Michelle had to prove to viewers she could be anyone other than EastEnders‘ villain Cindy Beale, Ben had to shrug free from being known as bed-hopping Conrad Gates in Footballers’ Wives – and overcome being the third actor to play the part of Nick Tilsley.

Ben revealed: “When I took over as Nick, people needed time to get used to me.

“They were saying, ‘Is he right? Should he be like this? He’s not Adam Rickitt…’ Well, shows move on and Michelle’s great. She just needs time, like we all do.”

The 39-year-old is more than settled now, having been on our screens for a year and a half, although he says being part of the live episode for the soap’s 50th anniversary was a humbling experience.

“I felt I was getting Nick and beginning to understand where I was with the family, and then suddenly the 50th comes up and you realise it’s a very, very big show and, in the life of Coronation Street, I’m a mere blip.”

Corrie is known for its humour as well as its feuds and fighting, but lately it seems to have focused more on hand-wringing than wit, with John Stape’s grisly murders among recent plots.

Ben reasons: “Now the show’s 50 years old, you have to progress and try new things.

“Soap is meant to be debated and talked about. I don’t think it’s lost its humour, the figures are up, people are watching it, it’s working very well.”