Coronation Street star Alex Bain says his role as Simon Barlow has helped him through 'dark times'

Coronation Street spoilers: Simon Barlow lashes out again!

Coronation Street favourite Alex has opened up about how his role as Simon helped him through his struggles at school and how his daughter, Lydia, has got him through lockdown...

Coronation Street star Alex Bain has opened up about what is was like growing up in front of the nation as Weatherfield's Simon Barlow.

The 19-year-old actor, who has been in Coronation Street for the last 12 years, has admitted that it wasn't always easy to juggle his filming schedule with school work, but that he had very supportive teachers who helped.

Nick Tilsley, Ken Barlow, Leanne Tilsley, Simon Barlow

Alex has credited his role on Coronation Street for getting him through some hard times (Picture: ITV)

We caught up with Alex for a chat about life in the Coronation Street cast, and he admitted that his role on the soap has helped him through some hard times...

"I went through quite a few tough times when I was at school, even from primary school, being the only male dancer there, kids can be horrible. They can truthfully be horrible.

More: Will Mellor joins the cast of Coronation Street as a dangerous drugs lord 

"I never saw it as bullying, but that was a lack of awareness at the time. I had a situation at school and it affected me.

Leanne Battersby in Coronation Street

Alex has played Simon Barlow for more than a decade (Picture: ITV) (Image credit: Joseph Scanlon)

"I have struggled with mental health, but I'm open about it and I talk about it all the time.

"But I've been through some dark times, and if I hadn't stuck at the job I'm in now I would have been lost. Corrie has kept me going."

Family first 

As well as his work at Coronation Street, Alex also credited his family for helping him through any rocky patches, including his daughter Lydia-Rose, who was born when Alex was 17 and dating then girlfriend Levi Selby.

Alex has since split from Levi and he is now in a relationship with dancer Mollie, who he says has been a lifeline for him throughout lockdown.

"Having my daughter Lydia has kept me going, we've just been constantly watching films here at my house, so it's great.

A photo posted by on

"I've also got a wonderful girlfriend, Mollie, and she's always been there for me, because she's struggled as well. She's a performer, too.

"My family have always been great and have always looked after me. They just said 'you go in your own lane, don't listen to what people say, because they're the people who are jealous of what you have got'.

"It has been a struggle over the years but now I'm on the up."

Helping others 

Alex also revealed that fans often open up to him about their own problems, especially if they're going through something similar to Simon on screen...

Coronation Street Simon finds Leanne Battersby unconscious

Alex's character Simon is currently caught up in a huge storyline on Coronation Street (Picture: ITV)

"People always get in touch and tell me their problems.

I always say that if I can help one person through my portrayal of Simon then I have done my job properly."

Coronation Street airs on Mondays and Wednesdays 7.30pm and 8.30pm with an hour long episode at 7.30 on Fridays on ITV - see our TV Guide for full listings.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.