'Coronation Street' star reveals bizarre reason why fans have ‘shunned’ him

Coronation Street - Jamie Kenna as Phill Whittaker.
Jamie Kenna says fans are often confused when they meet him. (Image credit: ITV)

The stars of Coronation Street are used to fans approaching them in the street for a selfie or, equally commonly, asking if it “really is” them. 

But actor Jamie Kenna, who plays Fiz Stape’s new boyfriend Phill Whittaker, says that when people recognise him, they often do a u-turn soon after - because they think they’ve made a big mistake. The reason? It’s all to do with his accent. 

Jamie’s alter-ego Phill is, of course, a Northerner. But in real life, Jamie is actually a Southerner, and fans are flummoxed when he opens his mouth and sounds less Weatherfield, more Walford. 

“A few people have shunned me,” Jamie reveals. “They’ve asked for a picture or they say ‘Are you Phill from Corrie?’ and then I speak and they go ‘Oh no, it’s not you’ and they disappear!

“So it’s the biggest compliment I could have about the [Coronation Street] accent that people think I’m not Phill.”

Fiz discovers Mimi is a handful.

Fiz and Phill have hit a few problems, including the arrival of Phill's mum, Mimi.  (Image credit: ITV)

Jamie adds: “I’ve done a lot of accents in my career and I like doing them, but I’m really fussy and want to do them to a standard where you can go to that place and fit in.

“The one I actually find the hardest is RP (Received Pronunciation or ‘The Queen’s English’) because I’ve got such a South London twang. I can do any regional accents, but when I do RP, that’s when I have to really work at it.”

Jamie joined the Corrie cast back in July when his character, Phill, wandered into Gary Windass’ furniture shop, where Fiz was working and took a shine to the single mum.

Phill and Fiz went on to have several dates, but Fiz soon called time on the blossoming romance, insisting she wasn’t ready to begin a new relationship so soon after splitting from long-term partner Tyrone Dobbs. They reunited, however, a few months later. 

Fiz and Tyrone under the mistletoe Christmas 2021 Coronation Street

Tyrone has got his sights set on Fiz this Christmas, and Phill's not impressed!  (Image credit: Danielle Baguley / ITV)

The couple will be central to Coronation Street’s festive drama when they cancel plans to go away to Scotland with Fiz’s girls, Hope and Ruby.

Spending Christmas Day with Tyrone and Evelyn, all hell breaks loose when Tyrone makes a pass at Fiz, leading to a furious - and somewhat farcical - row between the two men.

Says Jamie: “Phill is not happy! It’s the first time you’ll see that you can only push Phill so far. It’s definitely a turning point.”

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV. You can also catch up on episodes on ITV Hub now.

For Christmas soap schedules see our TV Guide for full listings.

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.