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Coronation Street star Will Mellor reveals he turned to drink after family tragedies

Coronation Street star Will Mellor
(Image credit: Joseph Scanlon)

The Coronation Street actor has lost both his sister and father in recent years

Coronation Street newcomer Will Mellor has opened up about his despair after losing both his sister and father, and admits he turned to drink to help numb the pain.

The 44 year old, who has been cast as menacing drugs boss, Harvey, lost his beloved sister Jo in 2012, from heart failure.

Meanwhile, last Spring, Will’s father Bill passed away, just a few weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Speaking to whatsontv and other media at an online press conference, the former Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps star said: “I’m a very upbeat person, I live for the moment, I’m excitable, creative, and try to be the life and soul. When that’s not happening, there’s another side, which wasn’t nice.

“I lost my sister nine years ago, and didn’t deal with it very well. I didn’t want to get out of bed some days. I was drinking a bit too much, and got into gambling a little bit, but luckily got out of that.

“I was looking for potential highs to cheer me up, which is the worst thing to do. Alcohol is a depressant – you might feel great that night, but the day after, you’re on the floor again and feel worse than you did before."

He continued: “When my dad passed, I saw the signs and didn’t go that deep. Obviously, lockdown didn’t help. When you don’t have to be up in the morning, there’s no excuse not to have a few drinks. You have a word with yourself.

“I’m alright, I was never an alcoholic or anything, but I was doing things a bit too regularly. It wasn’t making me feel any better. Talking helps. Say you’re struggling, and speak to friends or family."

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The actor, who has also starred in the likes of Broadchurch and Merlin, says that after a difficult 2020, landing his Coronation Street role has been a boost for himself and his family - particularly mum Shirley; a lifelong fan of the soap.

“I started 2021 with a positive outlook – whatever comes my way, I’ll grab it with both hands,” he says. “Then Corrie rang, and the character was put to me and I loved it. I’ve never played anything like this before.

“I first got with an agent in Manchester when I was 12. I went to an open audition; we couldn’t afford drama school. I saw an ad for a casting agent - they were looking for kids off the street with no experience. They saw me and took me on; they said I had great confidence, and I was very passionate about wanting to do it.

“From the moment I was with the agency, my mum said ‘I’d just love him to get on Corrie!’ She’s had to wait 32 years, but her son is finally on it!

“I’m not playing the nicest character, but she’s over the moon, and so are the family. We’ve all had a tough year and this has been a real boost for us. We’re all very happy.”

Coronation Street continues on ITV.