Cover Story

Cor­rie star Ben Price on leav­ing his screen fam­ily to spend more time with his real one – and Nick Til­s­ley’s life-threat­en­ing trip to the sea­side...

TV Times - - My TV Times Week - Ali­son slade

A day at the sea­side for nick, leanne, Peter and Steve was never go­ing to be with­out drama. in­evitably a row breaks out and when nick storms off into a treach­er­ous part of the beach, he finds him­self up to his waist in quick­sand. Read what star Ben Price has to say

Coronation Street holiday mon-fri / ITV / 9pm

It’s ta-ra to Nick Til­s­ley this week, but will the Bistro boss leave Cor­rie in a car or a cof­fin? The omens aren’t look­ing good when he’s sucked into some quick­sand dur­ing a day out at the beach.

Off screen, ac­tor Ben Price has de­cided to quit his role to spend more time with his fash­ion stylist wife, Alexan­dra, and their two chil­dren, Paloma, 10 and Max, 7.

We caught up with Ben, 45, to talk about his big de­ci­sion and that per­ilous day by the sea…

Can you tell us about your de­ci­sion to leave?

I live a cou­ple of hun­dred miles from Manch­ester. I was away most weeks, and have been for years. I need to see my chil­dren more. Of course, I ag­o­nised over it, as

I’ve had the best time of my ca­reer at Coronation Street, but I feel like I have done ev­ery­thing with Nick that I could do. I’ve done a thou­sand episodes in eight years. That’s a lot of big sto­ries!

What are your high­lights?

The big­gest was re­al­is­ing I was part of the Platt fam­ily, and hav­ing my first Christ­mas at the Platts with He­len Worth (Gail), Sue Nicholls (Au­drey) and Jack Shep­herd (David). And I came in with Michelle Kee­gan (Tina), which was a great start! My other high­lights are work­ing with Jane Dan­son (Leanne), open­ing The Join­ery – which be­came the Bistro – the live episode, where I was trapped un­der the rub­ble, and Nick sleep­ing with Kylie. I love how it all un­folded when David found out.

What do you think de­fines Nick?

I re­alised very early on that the es­sen­tial part of Nick Til­s­ley is a suit. As soon as I put it on, ev­ery­one on the street knew that Nick was the man who owned the busi­ness and wore the suit. That made him dif­fer­ent from the other guys, and helped de­fine the char­ac­ter. I used to love it when Peter was smok­ing a fag in his leather jacket out­side the book­ies, and Nick would walk down the street in his suit. That felt like Coronation Street for me.

How did you feel when you learnt that your exit sto­ry­line would in­volve be­ing stuck in quick­sand? I was a bit sur­prised, and wanted to know how it tied into ev­ery­thing that has been hap­pen­ing to Nick. It does tie in, bril­liantly. Psy­cho­log­i­cally, Nick is los­ing his per­spec­tive over the sit­u­a­tion with Steve and baby Oli. It all boils down to him want­ing his own child and hav­ing to deal with two fathers to two sons that he is help­ing to bring up.

What was the quick­sand stunt like to film?

It was good, be­cause it was tough and cold, and I was in that place; I wasn’t in a tank in a stu­dio. I felt per­fectly safe but I was ac­tu­ally in the water. What you are look­ing for in any given sit­u­a­tion is that the au­di­ence be­lieve that you are re­ally in that place, and you don’t have to fudge it too much. You want them to think ‘That looks aw­ful!’ and ac­tu­ally it was, be­cause you put your­self in the po­si­tion of some­one who is re­ally stuck, which is quite fright­en­ing. Al­though, on the day, there was a bank of about 100 peo­ple with cam­era phones, who all gave me a round of ap­plause!

Will you miss play­ing Nick?

I think if I hadn’t done as much as I had, then I would miss him – but in truth,

I feel like I have re­ally ex­am­ined

that char­ac­ter and I have done ev­ery­thing I can. I feel like I have come to the nat­u­ral end and it’s time to say, ‘Thank you, that was amaz­ing’. I’ll miss the break­fasts at the Platts – all of them sit­ting round that ta­ble and do­ing those fan­tas­tic fam­ily scenes.

are you tak­ing any sou­venirs from set with you?

I’d like Nick’s Crom­bie coat if they will let me have it – that’s the only thing I want to take.

What are you look­ing for­ward to the most af­ter Cor­rie? Ini­tially, get­ting in my car and driv­ing down the mo­tor­way to see my chil­dren and know­ing that I am not com­ing back the other way two days later. My son said to me re­cently, ‘Is that it dad? Will you have fin­ished work for good?’ I ex­plained that I will be work­ing again, I hope! I have not re­tired and I have lots of things I still want to do.

On the day, there was a bank of about 100 peo­ple with cam­era phones, who all gave me a round of ap­plause!

Beach boys: Leanne takes the men in her life on a day out Deep water: Nick pan­ics when he gets stuck in the quick­sand Too late? The life­guard tries to save Nick

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