Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell, who has played mechanic Kevin Webster since 1983, has revealed that he played a very different character on the soap before getting the role of Kevin.
Talking to What to Watch, Michael spoke about how he never imagined that he would still be playing Kevin 40 years on in Coronation Street and what character he originally played when he first stepped foot on the cobbles.
“No, absolutely not. I came in as Neil Grimshaw first for a few episodes. When that finished they said they’d find something else for me. I wasn’t actually up for Kevin Webster," he revealed.
It was only when Michael was waiting in a corridor to audition for a programme called Scully, that it was assumed he was there for the Kevin Webster audition instead.
"I came back the next day and had an audition for 12 episodes. So I did those 12 episodes and went off to do panto and then got a call saying can I come back. And that was nearly 40 years ago.”
During his short stint on the soap, Michael played troublesome paperboy Neil, who would cause chaos for The Kabin staff as he would throw newspapers into people’s gardens rather than post them.
He also opened up about his future on the soap, after Coronation Street legend Bill Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, said he would like to stay on the soap until he’s 100 years old.
He revealed: “It’s a nice thought! As long as you keep remembering your lines and where you work and getting there every day, of course. That’s the thing with our job is that you don’t have to retire when you’re 65 because they still want older characters.
“That’s the thing about acting — they say you don’t retire from acting, acting retires you. If your face doesn’t fit, you don’t fit. If my face still fits in 37 years' time, I’ll be happy.”
Next year is Michael’s 40th anniversary on the show and it seems he has no urge to leave just yet as he still loves playing the long-standing character.
“I love it. Absolutely love it. Well, what's not to like about it? You know you get different scripts every week. And I've actually been blessed with the actors I've been put with, which made my job so much easier," he commented.
“It's not like coming into work working with you know, Sally Dynevor and Sally Carmen and Joe Duttine as well. I've been blessed.”
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.
You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.