We take Simon Gregson through his favourite moments during his two decades playing Steve McDonald in Coronation Street.
1989 – A young Simon starts at Corrie aged 15
“I only went to the audition because I wanted to see people off the telly – I never expected to get the part. I took the job because it meant I didn’t have to go to school. I can’t watch my first ever scenes because it reminds me of how nervous I was at the time. My body remembers those feelings. I’m going to have to watch those bits when I’m drunk.
“When I got the job I thought: ‘I hope they don’t expect me to know what I’m doing.’ It took me about 12 years before I felt comfortable as an actor. I’ll never forget my first day. My granddad took me into the rehearsal room and there were people like Phyllis and Bet Gilroy. It was great!”
1989 – Meet the MacDonalds!
“Charlie Lawson and Bev Callard taught me so much. They were my drama school training. I got on with them both as soon as we met. Before I had kids, Bev and I used to go out a lot. We’re still really good friends. And I‘m in touch with Charlie too. Me and Nick Cochrane who plays Andy had a riot when we were brought in as these wayward twins. We couldn’t believe we were actually getting paid to do the stuff we got up to!”
1990 – Steve joyrides in a digger…
“I was really disappointed because they only let me start it. I was desperate to drive it! However, one time they had this big truck and they left the keys in it. I got in and drove it off. The director was shouting: ‘Gregson! Get out of that truck!’ It was so funny, little me driving this 40 geared wagon.”
1990 – Steve’s first screen kiss
“I was so nervous. She was called Tanya Rodrigues. She was playing a teenager, but in real-life she was in her 20s, which made it even more terrifying. When we did the kiss, the director was shouting: ‘Come on boy. Just get on with it!’ I was annoyed because I was just expected to do it without any training.”
1996 – Girlfriend Fiona (played by Angela Griffin) visits Steve in jail
“It was grim filming this. We were in a disused hospital and we couldn’t have the heaters on because they made too much noise. But of course prisons are supposed to be warm, so I was dressed in a T shirt and a tabard.”
2000 – Drug-dealing thug Lez Quigley visits Steve in hospital
“Steve got beaten up badly by Jez, but the cuts and bruises were all make-up. The worst bit of the beating was these dogs he had. One of them was 11 stone and I was really scared. They were an inch from my face, so I had to check that the handler was going to keep hold of them – tightly!”
2000 – The toxic twosome get it togther and produce daughter Amy
“I really enjoyed filming Steve’s ill-fated fling with Tracy [Kate Ford] because her character was just so mental.”
2004 – Tracy tries to interrupt Steve and Karen’s wedding
“I hate filming weddings and this one went on for four days – although we were all really pleased with the results. Weddings are such hard work and this one was a marathon. It was freezing in the church! Steve’s relationship with Karen [Suranne Jones] is one of my favourites – I loved all that screaming and shouting!”
2006 – Steve takes over The Rovers
“I didn’t know this was coming, they just came up to me one day and said: ‘By the way, Steve’s getting The Rovers.’ I was really chuffed and thought it wouldn’t last, but it has.”
2008 – Steve woos Michelle (Kym Marsh)
“This was epic. With Kym, I did so many scenes where I was in the background of the pub, I had to throw something in, hence the gurning was born!”
2009 – Steve finally marries Becky
“I liked Katherine Kelly who plays Becky as soon as I met her and knew a relationship between Becky and Steve would work. For me, it’s up there with Steve’s marriage to Karen.”