Former Corrie star Brian Capron on touring Cornwall in Celebrity Five Go Caravanning and why Richard Hillman could have given Phelan a run for his money
He’s best known for his stint as Corrie serial killer Richard Hillman but now Brian Capron is showing off his lighter side as he joins Tony Blackburn, Sonia, Sherrie Hewson and Colin Baker on Channel 5 travelogue Celebrity Five Go Caravanning.
As the gang heads to Cornwall, Brian Capron tells TV Times about his camping antics in Celebrity Five Go Caravanning, how Richard Hillman would get on against Phelan and visting ex EastEnders star Leslie Grantham before his death in June…
TVT: We can’t believe you’re 71!
BC: “Ha ha! I’ve always looked young – even when I was 30, I was playing 19-year-olds. It’s in my genes and I’m fit and healthy so I don’t feel that old. I’m lucky. I visited Leslie Grantham a few days before he died because we’d worked together. We were the same age and it made me appreciate my life and the fact I’m still working. Hopefully I can carry on a bit longer…”
TV Times: What was the appeal of Caravanning…?
Brian Capron: “I love caravans. I used to have one and now I have a motorhome - how tragic am I?! My wife and I go to festivals in it. So I thought it’d be fun. But being the newbie on the show, I didn't like to interfere and look like a know-all! So I helped out with things like zipping up the awning but I tried not to instruct them.”
TVT: Were you nervous about joining the gang as they’d already been travelling together?
BC: “I was worried they’d bonded and didn’t want a new person but we had such a laugh. I’ve known Sherrie since she was 20 and went out with Robert Lindsay who was in rep with me. And Colin took me into my Lamda audition - he was in the year above. We’re so old we’ve known each other for 50 years! Tony’s so nice too - he doesn't apologise for his naffness! And Sonia was an antidote to our egos - she’s lovely. One night we all sang sad 60s songs and she knew all the words!”
TVT: Do people still come up to you about Corrie?
BC: “All the time! When we filmed this in Polperro, people recognised Tony and said, ‘You’ve got that murderer with you!’ I feel grateful for playing Richard because that story was special with so many twists. It’s lovely having a little place in soap history. It’s mad Richard still gets mentioned in Corrie but they’ve just had another famous murderer - Phelan - so perhaps he takes my mantle now!
TVT: Who’d win in a fight though?!
BC: “Richard’s deviousness might have got to Phelan in the end! He’d be up against Phelan’s brutality but maybe Richard would’ve come up with a plan that wrong-footed him.”
TVT: Do you still get recognised for playing Mr Hopwood in Grange Hill too?
BC: “I love it when people come up to me about that. Some even think I used to be a teacher at their school! I learned a lot from the children in Grange Hill because they were such natural actors. My agent only let me do it for four years though because they worried about me being typecast as a nice teacher. Later, there were worries about me being typecast as psycho!”
Celebrity Five Go Caravanning continues on Friday on Channel 5 at 8pm
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.
Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.
Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.
In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.