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Coronation Street star Colson Smith: ‘Sport Relief rowing is hard!’

Colson Smith Sport Relief rowing
(Image credit: James Stack)

Coronation Street actor Colson Smith on why he's overcoming his fears to take part in Sport Relief’s Clash of the Channels celebrity rowing race

There are celebrity challenges aplenty in this year’s Sport Relief. But one of the key moments in the BBC telethon will be a Clash of the Channels celebrity rowing race in Salford Quays. Crew from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky will take to the water to compete. And Coronation Street star Colson Smith, AKA Craig Tinker, is among those flying the flag for Team ITV.

Here, Coronation Street actor Colson Smith reveals why he’s nervous but proud to take part in the Sport Relief feat…

Why were you keen to support Sport Relief?

Colson Smith: "It’s a great initiative. The money is spent on the best things possible so it’s about whatever I can do to help and the focus on mental health this year is a bonus."

Do you have any rowing experience?

CS: “I did a kayaking adventure in Thailand but someone kayaked for me while I lay back! Rowing is a way of keeping fit I've never thought of - it might be my new hobby!”

How have you found training?

CS: “Our trainers are Olympians and said I did well but they weren't looking me in the eye! It is hard and out of my comfort zone. What have I let myself in for?! The toughest part is coordination - I struggled to keep in time! And I’m bad with water - I can’t swim!”

Colson Smith Sport Relief rowing

Coronation Street star Colson Smith starts his rowing training for Sport Relief (Image credit: James Stack)

How competitive are you?

CS: “I was feeling competitive, until I saw how hard rowing was - now I am just doing it for charity! But I hope we smash it. We’ll race past work [the Corrie set is on the Quays] so everyone will come and cheer for us. Hopefully, I’ll do them proud.”

MORE: Greg James’ Sport Relief Heroes – BBC1

Can you give us any hints about what’s coming up in Coronation Street?

CS: “Fitness is something possibly plot-related that's going become more apparent this year on Coronation Street for reasons I can't say! And we've got the 60th anniversary coming up at the end of the year, which is exciting. It's a good time for Coronation Street - it's a great place to be. This is my ninth year. It has flown by and I love it. I get to work with my best friends.”

Clash of the Channels is part of Sport Relief’ 2020 on Friday 13 March on BBC1 at 7pm

For information on how to donate to Sport Relief, head to