Brian Capron, AKA Coronation Street killer Richard Hillman, talks about appearing on the Come Dine With Me Soap Star Special

Is it true Richard Hillman is going to make an appearance in the upcoming Coronation Street DVD, celebrating the show’s 50th anniversary?
“Well, the spin-off DVD features Ken Morley [Reg Holdsworth] and Kevin Kennedy [Curly Watts], and I’ve done a cameo appearance where you see me re-emerging from the water! But I’m not Richard Hillman, I’m his cousin. It’s very funny, there are a lot of tongue-in-cheek references to Tricky Dicky.”

What made you agree to do the Come Dine With Me soap special?
“I wasn’t really that keen on it, to be honest, because the only other reality TV I’d done was Strictly Come Dancing, which is kind of the posh end of the market! But when I mentioned it to my friends they all said, ‘You’ve got to do it!’ And so did my wife and 14-year-old son. So I thought, in for a penny, in for a pound, and it turned out to be a very interesting experience! Plus, I was trying to win the money for an Alzheimer’s charity – my father-in-law died of Alzheimer’s and it’s an absolutely awful disease. The other cause I try to support is breast cancer, which I lost my mother to.”

Were you nervous about the cooking?
“I do cook at home so I was quite looking forward to the cooking bit, I was more nervous about who the other people were and how were going to get on.”

So how did you get on with Lorraine Chase, Adele Silva [Kelly Windsor, Emmerdale] and James Redmond [Finn from Hollyoaks]?
“Everyone was very nice. I was a bit worried because I get on with girls quite well because I’ve raised two daughters, but the other guy, James, turned out be a delight – very witty, very edgy. You worry there’ll be long silences but, with James around, that was never the case! And I’m quite a loquacious talker…”

What was your night like?
“I’d describe it as homely but chaotic. I had some disasters – like opening the fridge and a bottle of wine falling out, and there was a bit of a delay with my beef casserole – but I was fairly pleased with what I did. I was the first to go and, at the end of the week, the others did say they wanted to give me more points, but you can’t go back and do that.”

Did you really do all the food yourself?
“Yes, I didn’t cheat, unlike some! Lorraine had someone assisting her and James had two people assisting him. Adele and I didn’t have any help at all.”

Was there any flirting going on?
“Between Adele and James, yes, but I think it was a bit of a one-way street. I think Adele warmed a bit towards him, but the trouble with James is, he’s one of these people – and I’m very similar – we tend to say whatever’s in our head, which is not always wise. He just comes out with this stuff, I was gobsmacked at one point thinking, ‘Did he actually say that?’ Adele was a bit unnerved by some of the things he said, but actually you realise that James is James, he’s a very witty and entertaining guy, but he does push the envelope!”

Did you put on any entertainment?
“It’s a tricky one, that, because I think if you impose anything on them, it rarely works and it’s embarrassing. We played a table football game and we had such a laugh, Adele got really hysterical and was screaming, which was funny because she’d been quite quiet up to then. It was a good icebreaker, but it was nothing compared to James’s night, which was a bit special – in a car crash sort of way. Suffice to say that Lorraine, Adele and I spent the first hour looking at each other with gobsmacked faces. It was a Mexican night – you could call it a hopeless takeaway from Nandos. It was a bit of a nightmare evening, but very funny. When I was in the taxi coming home they asked me for my score and I said, have you got any minus numbers?”

Have you found Richard Hillman hard to get away from?
‘The thing is, it was seven and a half years ago and, really, for the last seven years I haven’t done anything similar. I’ve kept away from anything to do with psychopathic characters! I’ve reinvented myself within the business – I did three years in Where the Heart Is, I’ve done Guys and Dolls with Claire Sweeney, I’ve been at the National Theatre, I’m doing the Rocky Horror Show this week in Ipswich, and now I don’t mind going back to Richard Hillman [for the Corrie DVD] because I’ve got it out of my system.

“I’ve stayed away from panto villains and all of that, now I don’t mind, I’m doing Captain Hook at Christmas at the Lowry in Manchester so it doesn’t bother me any more. I’m thrilled now. I’m very proud of Richard Hillman. Looking back on it, he seems to get more iconic as time goes on… It’s extraordinary. I’ve just recorded a Richard Hillman song for the album of the musical of Corrie! which is going to come out at Christmas. It’s backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and we did it at Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles were. It’s just fantastic!”

*Come Dine With Me’s soap special screens on Friday, October 22 on C4.