Ian Bartholomew - things you didn't know about the Coronation Street actor

Geoff in Coronation Street
(Image credit: Andrew Boyce)

From treading the boards to topping the music charts, there is more to Ian Bartholomew than playing Coronation Street's Evil Geoff Metcalfe...

Ian Bartholomew has become one of the most terrifying Coronation Street villains over recent months after subjecting his wife, Yasmeen Metcalfe, played by Shelley King, to unthinkable, coercive abuse.

Since arriving on the cobbles in March 2018, Ian's chilling portrayal of Geoff has become more horrifying by the day. Thankfully Ian is nothing like his on-screen alter ego, and there is more to the actor than playing Weatherfield's latest baddie.

How much do you know about Ian Bartholomew himself?

Most fans of the actor will know that:

  • He began his acting career in 1977
  • He's a fan of being on stage
  • He has been in countless TV shows

But what else do we know about Ian? Here are several things you probably don't know...

1. Ian Bartholomew's had a very impressive stage career 

Ian Bartholomew

Ian wowed the crowds as Vivian Van Damn in Mrs Henderson Presents (Picture: Getty) (Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

Before walking the infamous Coronation Street cobbles, Ian has made a hugely successful career treading the boards. Among countless other roles, he took the starring role of George in the acclaimed production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf in 2005, in 2010 he won rave reviews for his part as Eliza Doolittle's father in the Royal Exchange's production of Pygmalion, and in 2016 he played Vivian Van Damn in Martin Sherman's Mrs Henderson Presents.

More: Things you didn't know about Coronation Street's Julia Goulding 

2. Coronation Street is just one in a long-line of Ian's TV appearances

While Ian might be playing Coronation Street villain Geoff Metcalfe, he is a well-known TV actor and has appeared in huge hits like The Darling Buds of May, New Tricks, Casualty, Foyle's War, New Blood and Spooks to name but a few.

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3. Ian Bartholomew's become 'the most hated man' in Britain

Geoff Coronation Street

Ian's portrayal of evil Geoff has been so realistic that some fans are wary around him (Picture: ITV)

Evil Geoff's abusive behaviour towards wife Yasmeen has captured the nation's attention, but the success of the storyline does have its down sides, because Ian now won't go out alone in Manchester!

Shelley King, who plays Yasmeen, told OK Magazine: "He's told me he is the most hated man in the entire country. He sometimes stays with me as he lives away, and he said he wouldn't go out in MediaCity unless I was with him. When we're out walking, people wind down their car window and shout, 'Leave him!'"

4. He's had a number one chart hit

Well, sort of! In 2017 Ian recorded two songs for the album Wit & Whimsy - Songs by Alexander S. Bermange, which got to number one in the iTunes comedy album chart. Ian sang two songs on the album, one was a solo titled Yet I'm Happy, and the second song, called It's Lovely Being A Luvvie, Ian recorded with all the other artists on the album.

More: Things you didn't know about Coronation Street's Alison King 

5. His wife and children refuse to watch him on TV

Geoff Coronation Street

Ian's family can't watch Geoff's evil ways (Picture: ITV)

Ian has openly admitted that his wife and their two children struggle to watch him on TV when he is playing Evil Geoff. He told us: "My kids have seen me in loads of other things. I've done loads of musicals and shows and plays in Manchester, Liverpool and London. They started to watch Coronation Street and when dad started to turn nasty, they said 'No, can't watch it now, dad' and I quite understand that. They know it's not really dad, but they don't want to see somebody who looks like dad being horrible."

6. Geoff's actions have made him question his own behaviour

Coronation Street fans have been left horrified at the lengths of abuse that Geoff has gone to over recent months. From locking claustrophobic Yasmeen in a box to cooking her pet chicken and making her eat it, it seems there is no end to his sickening behaviour.

But Ian believes it is a good thing that Geoff has made people question their behaviour, including himself. He told us: "I have questioned some of my past behaviour around my family, and that can only be a good thing. There are boundaries and lines, but when you cross them and try to control someone else's behaviour that's when you have to be careful."

7. His role on Coronation Street has been tough

It's not just Coronation Street viewers who have found Geoff's harrowing abuse of wife Yasmeen hard to deal with. Ian admitted to BBC Breakfast presenters Louise Minchin and Dan Walker: "It's not been easy. You have to go to places that are unpleasant. It's dark. I have had some help with counselling so I can offload any angst, anger, or shame that I might have. But it has been a very, very important storyline and the responsibility has kept us going."

Ian Bartholomew's Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actor....

How old is he?

Ian Bartholomew's age is 65. He was born on 23rd August 1954.

Is he in a relationship?

Ian Bartholomew is married to theatre director Loveday Ingram.

Does he have kids?

Ian Bartholomew has two children who were born in 2005 and 2007.

Where was he born?

Ian Bartholomew was born in Portsmouth.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Picture credits: Main image of Ian Bartholomew as Geoff Metcalfe: ITV

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 whattowatch.com 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.