7 things you didn't know about Coronation Street star Chris Gascoyne - AKA Peter Barlow

Coronation Street star Chris Gascoyne as Peter Barlow
(Image credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

He's played Peter Barlow for the last 19 years, but how much do we know about actor Chris Gascoyne?

Chris Gascoyne joined the cast of Coronation Street back in 2000, becoming the seventh actor to play the now legendary role of Peter Barlow. But while we might have got used to seeing Chris on our screens for almost two decades, there are still a few things you might not know about the actor...

1. He's married to a Coronation Street co-star

Chris married his wife, Caroline Harding back in 2002, but what fans might not know is that Caroline is also an actor and has appeared in various soaps, including Coronation Street. Caroline played a consultant in Corrie back in 2015, and she has also appeared in Emmerdale and has been seen playing numerous roles in both Doctors and Holby City.

2. He would have been a milkman 

If Chris hadn't made it as a fully-fledged soap star, his back up job would have been becoming a milkman like his dad. Chris has admitted that he would have been happy with the life of a milkman... although something tells us it would have been slightly different to working on Coronation Street for 19 years!

Chris Gascoyne as Peter Barlow Coronation Street

Chris has played troubled Peter Barlow for 19 years

3. He's been in Casualty 

While these days it is hard to imagine Chris playing anyone other than the cobbles' Peter Barlow, the actor starred in other famous TV shows before joining the soap. As well as acting in Starting Out, Between the Lines and Murdoch Mysteries, he also featured in The secret Diary of Adrian Mole, BBC drama New Street Law, and, of course, Casualty.

4. He's good friends with his on-screen enemy

It's no secret that Peter Barlow and Nick Tilsley don't see eye-to-eye, but did you know that when the cameras stop rolling, the pair are great mates? Ben Price, who plays Nick, told us it's their friendship off screen that makes their chatterer's rivalry work so well: "Me and Chris have spent a lot of time working together, I think it is probably because we get on so well that it works. I'm very lucky because I get on with Chris so we can play the scenes harder... you can actually be nastier because I don't have to apologise."

Actors Chris and Ben are actually good friends in real life!

Actors Chris and Ben are actually good friends in real life!

5. He used to deliver pizzas

Before the glamorous world of showbiz beckoned him, Chris worked as a pizza delivery driver. He told Manchester Gossip: "I went biking around Hammersmith Broadway on a 40cc scooter in the lashing rain and rush hour traffic. I was delivering Pepperoni Passions 9 flights up for £1.50 an hour with no tips. People complained it was cold and some tried to rob me."

6. He's got a botched tattoo

Chris admitted that all the tattoos we see on Peter Barlow are in fact all real and most of them were done when he was younger. But the actor's first tattoo experience didn't come without drama. Chris told Manchester Gossip that the tattooist made a mistake while spelling out his name: "I was getting a panther's head with my name underneath, but the tattooist wrote CHIS underneath it instead of CHRIS. He squeezed in a 'R' which looked rubbish so I had another black panther on top to cover it up!"

7. He has a surprising way of coping with stress

After filming some particularly heavy-going storylines a few years back, Chris told Coronation Street bosses that he needed some time off. He told The Mirror that he booked himself into a Buddhist retreat in the remote Sottish Highlands where he had no contact with the outside world, was expected to help with chores, and follow a vegan diet... "Most of my meditations were difficult," he told the paper. "My mind would jump around all over the place, but within that there were moments of clarity!"

Picture credits: Main image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock, all others 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.