Looking under the bonnet of his four decades on Britain’s most famous fictional street, Michael Le Vell makes an amusing remark about himself and his character, auto mechanic Kevin Webster.
Michael said that now it’s hard to know where Kevin ended and he started.
The 57-year-old soap star added: “I think we’re both very similar. You can’t play a character for 40 years, and some of your personality just doesn’t come through.
“It’s not like you play a different character every week.
“I’ve been Kevin Webster almost as long as I’ve been Michael Le Vell, because I started playing him so young. I’m 18 years old “
The actor, whose real name is Michael Turner, is thrilled to be at the center of another huge storyline, and it’s hard to believe he’s still playing Kevin.
“I had an audition and I got the job, it was 12 episodes,” he recalls.
“So then I finished those 12 episodes, went out, did the panto, then got a call saying ‘do you want to come back?’. And that was almost 40 years ago. ”
The good fortune came in 1983 with the help of casting director Judi Hayfield, who enjoyed his brief stint on Corrie in 1981 as paper boy Neil Grimshaw.
Judi ran into him again at Granada TV while he was auditioning for another show, and told him to come back the next day to audition for Kevin. The rest is history.
ITV / REX / Shutterstock)
Michael will be delighted to celebrate his 90th birthday while still working, just as his co-star William Roache – who plays Ken Barlow – did last month.
“You know, that’s a good idea,” Michael said with a laugh.
“As long as you can keep memorizing your lines and remember where you work and go there every day…
“That is our job. You don’t have to retire at 65 because they still want the older characters.
“You don’t give up acting, acting will withdraw you. If your face doesn’t fit anymore, it doesn’t fit. It’s as simple as that.
“If my face is still relevant in 33 years’ time, I’ll be happy to still be here.”
Over the years, Kevin has experienced scandal – he was romantically linked to Natalie Horrocks (Denise Welch) and Molly Dobbs (Vicky Binns) – and upheaval.
He has endured two divorces with his first wife Sally (played by Sally Dynevor).
He has also suffered the loss of his newborn son Jake to an infection, which also resulted in the death of Kevin’s second wife Alison. While his son Jack had his leg amputated because of sepsis.
Now, in scenes that aired later in the month, Kevin helps his third wife Abi (Sally Carman) in her battle to keep her son Alfie, the result of a one-night stand with Imran Habeeb.
Though devastated by the infidelity, Kevin decides to help Abi run away with the baby, even though he really wants her to stay.
Michael’s personal life is also a roller coaster ride. In 2013, the father-of-two was suspended from the television channel ITV for allegedly committing child sex crimes.
After being acquitted, he returned to the show, but later spent time dealing with his addiction to cocaine and alcohol.
Now, viewers are hoping Kevin can help Abi keep her baby, but she and Kevin might as well get back together.
Michael said: “He can see that nobody is perfect. And he loves her. And when you love someone, you see through their flaws. That’s what a relationship should be and hopefully if Kevin gets through a tough time, Abi will be there for him.
“She was interesting to him because he didn’t know what he was going to get from her day in and day out.
“I think that keeps him going and keeps him from getting bored.”
Michael thinks his character is pretty good at forgiving.
He said: “Kevin himself is not an angel. So I think he’s got to have some humble pie and just sort of ‘mistakes happen’. He added that Kevin’s son Jack also wants her back. Michael said, “I think Jack loves Abi like a stepmother.
“Jack sees that Abi is the one for Kevin.
“He wants his dad to be happy.”
Kevin sets out to help Abi escape with the tot, knowing that losing another child would destroy her.
The show’s bosses have put him at the head of another big conspiracy – in which Imran and Abi are getting into a bloody fight over the baby – Michael added: “It says they think you’re doing a job good. It also gives you good value in yourself, if you will.
“It doesn’t matter which scenario you get. I’m just proud to be a part of the show. It’s a great place to work – all I want to do is give my best. “
Michael, born in Newton Heath, Manchester, adds he still loves the job.
“I like it,” he said. Don’t like what? You get different scenarios every week and I’ve been very lucky with the actors I’ve played with, which makes my job so much easier. It’s not like going to work. ”
He’s grateful his character is now on good terms with his ex-wife Sally and her partner Tim (Joe Duttine).
Michael said: “I’m glad they introduced that. If Kevin and Tim don’t fit in, it’s going to be difficult for Kevin and Sally.
“For the sake of the children, we have to make our relationship work. Now we understand each other.”
ITV / REX / Shutterstock)
There’s even a chance to bring back Kevin’s mustache, which has made him a gay icon for years. Michael said his bookings at gay clubs plummeted after he left. “I’m thinking of planting it back just to make some money,” he said with a laugh.
Michael’s favorite stories include the loss of baby Jake in 2000.
He said: “I had that scene with Sally where he broke down.
“He had a line like, ‘What do I do with all that love now that the baby has been taken?’. It was really emotional. I like to do that. “
Another heart favorite is when Kevin’s ex-wife reveals that she’s fighting for her life. “When Sally had to tell Kevin she had breast cancer. And that’s one of those things, because [the actress] Sally got through it on her own. “
He also loves some upbeat storylines, like when he moved in with Hilda Ogden (Jean Alexander) in 1983. “We had a good laugh. She really hated Sally from the start. ”
Other great moments are saving Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) from a fire in 1986 and a tram crash in 2010, marking Corrie’s 50th anniversary.
Now, Michael hopes that he can continue to prepare the anniversaries too.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/coronation-street-actor-michael-le-27014643 Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell says he and Kevin are 'the same person'