Coronation Street

Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton reveals the surprising way he landed his iconic role as Sean Tully as he celebrates 20 years on the soap

Coronation Street star Antony Cotton has revealed the surprising way he landed his role as Sean Tully on the soap.

The actor, 48, who arrived on the street way back in 2003, has been playing the barman and factory worker full time since April 2004.

As he celebrates 20 years in Weatherfield, Antony admitted he is still amazed his ‘long shot’ paid off after he secured the role by asking the producers for a job.

Speaking to The Mirror he explained: ‘I do remember my first day on Corrie… as if it was yesterday. But I wasn’t nervous, it felt like coming home because I knew so many people who had been in and out.

‘Suranne Jones (who played Karen McDonald) was there, Sally Lindsay (who played Shelley Unwin) was there. I knew some of the writing team, you know, I asked for the job.’

Coronation Street star Antony Cotton, 48, has revealed the surprising way he landed his role as Sean Tully on the soap

Antony confirmed: ‘I wrote and asked for the job, which is not a recommended way of getting gainful employment. But that’s how I ended up there, it worked. You can’t do that nowadays.’

His character Sean has been involved in many hard-hitting stories over the years including becoming homeless, being involved in a minibus crash and having a son Dylan with barmaid Violet Wilson.

Last month it was revealed Violet has returned 16 years after she quit the ITV soap.

Actress Jenny Platt, 44, made her first on-screen appearance in 2004 and remained on the cobbles until 2008, while returning to Weatherfield for one last time in 2011.

Her character Violet gave birth to a son, Dylan Wilson, (played by Liam McCheyne), who she shares with Sean and later moved to London with her son and her partner Jamie Baldwin (Rupert Hill).

That was her last appearance on the iconic soap – until now.

The barmaid appeared back on the ITV screens as a crucial part of her son Dylan’s challenging storyline at the end of March.

The beloved character will be involved in supporting Dylan after he was exposed for his involvement in bullying of Liam Connor – played by Rob James-Collier – with the ringleader Mason Radcliffe.

Mason (Luca Toolan) had previously made a name for himself as a school bully, and often targeted Liam, who is Maria Connor’s son, with one incident seeing Mason pull a knife on Liam.

As Dylan decides to join Mason’s devious behaviour, he will face consequences of his actions and will need the presence of both his parents.

Corrie actor and comedian Anthony, 48, teased the hotly-anticipated return.

‘Tomorrow, after 16 years, Jenny Platt, who plays Violet Wilson, is coming back – she starts tomorrow,’ he said according to The Sun.

‘So I’ve got three scenes with her tomorrow and we will film across the next month. She’s not coming back permanently, but she’s coming back.’

‘We’ve tried to get her back in various different ways. At the end of the day, she’s Dylan’s mum. We do often talk about Violet, and Sean off-screen goes down and stays with them.’

He went on, adding: ‘But 16 years ago she left with Dylan, and she’s never been seen on screen since. But I’ve always remained in touch with Jenny and Rupert, so it’s really strange because I’ve not gone anywhere, I’m here.’

Meanwhile, a harrowing storyline is set to continue on Coronation Street as Liam is left so desperate he contemplates suicide after suffering months of bullying by ringleader Mason.

The character, played by Charlie Wrenshall, 14, will struggle as his mental health hits rock bottom.

The torment began with Mason pressuring Liam to vape, leading to Liam suffering an asthma attack, and the bullying then got progressively worse as Mason has been humiliating Liam to the point of tears, ordering his friends to record it and then posting it online for the world to see.

When Liam eventually stood up for himself, Mason shockingly pulled out a knife, showing just how dangerous he is.

As the cruel behaviour towards continued towards Liam both in person and online, Liam was left feeling trapped, with his mental health rapidly deteriorating.

Jenny Platt, 44, who is well-known for her role as Violet returned to the cobbles last month

In an hour-long episode on Wednesday, the depths of Liam’s despair will be shown as he is seen to search online for ways to kill himself but is interrupted by his mum, Maria Connor (Samia Longchambon).

Maria will go on to create a fake SendPx account to keep her eye on her son after suspecting the bullying, which ultimately leads to a horrified Maria discovering the extent of his bullying.

Liam’s search history will come to light when his laptop is returned to Weatherfield High and his recent search results are discovered.

As Maria fails to notice a missed call from the school, Gary Windass, Liam’s stepfather (Mikey North), is called in before racing to the salon to break the news to Maria that Liam has been researching ways to commit suicide.

Maria rushes back to the flat in a desperate bid to find Liam and make sure he’s safe.

Whilst Liam decided against ending his own life, he still has a long journey ahead of him over the coming months.

To bring this story to the screen, Coronation Street researchers and writers have been working closely with the National Bullying Helpline to ensure Liam’s story is told as authentically and delicately as possible.

Iain Macleod, Executive Producer of Continuing Drama at ITV, said: ‘This is a story that will have immense personal resonance for many people – it certainly did for some of the Coronation Street team.

‘We felt it was important to show the mental damage that bullying can do to people on the receiving end, especially in the modern world, when children are faced with what can seem like inescapable cyber-bullying.

‘The aggression doesn’t stop at the school gates but can find you in the safety of your own home.

‘Having said that, it was also important that across the story as a whole, we showed some hope for Liam and that by speaking up, finally, he can begin the process of escaping his nightmare and beginning to heal.

‘We approached this story very carefully, consulting with a number of specialist charities, and I feel the resulting story is truthful, powerful and necessary.’

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