Coronation Street star Simon O'Brien still gets recognised for Brookside

·2-min read
Corrie star Simon O'Brien - right - is still recognised for Brookside credit:Bang Showbiz
Corrie star Simon O'Brien - right - is still recognised for Brookside credit:Bang Showbiz

Simon O'Brien still gets recognised for his role in 'Brookside' more than 'Coronation Street'.

The 57-year-old actor - who played Damon Grant in the Liverpool-based show - recently joined 'Corrie' as Sean Tully's love interest Frank Bardsley, but many fans still see him as his former character.

He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It’s literally 40 years since I first appeared in a soap. You wouldn’t believe it, looking at the state of me.

"But no one calls me Simon. Even when I joined Coronation Street people on Twitter were saying, ‘Oh look, Damon’s in Coronation Street.’ ”

The soap star admitted he's trying to get used to playing a very different character from the pin-up he portrayed when he was younger.

He said: "I was filming in Hull recently and we were staying in a hotel. I noticed a young waitress looking at me and I said to the other guys I was sure she was giving me the eye.

“After a while she came over and said, ‘Excuse me, my nan loves you.’ It wasn’t even her mum. That dashed the old ego, I can tell you.”

Meanwhile, Simon reflected on his decision to attend an open audition for 'Brookside' in 1982, and he only went to try out for the Channel 4 show on a whim, with plans to take his A levels and then do a degree in botany.

He added: "I’d never considered acting, I wanted to be a botanist, I was a real geek, but the audition was on a Tuesday afternoon which was double maths so it was a no-brainer.”

Simon was an original cast member of the soap, making his debut as the on-screen son of Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston's characters Bobby and Sheila Grant.

He was propelled to teen idol status thanks to the role, before being killed off in a three-part spin-off series 'Damon and Debbie'.

In the show, widely credited as being the UK's first "soap bubble", Damon and Debbie McGrath - who was played by former 'Emmerdale' actress Gillian Kearney - headed to York to get away from their parents, who didn't agree with their relationship.

Simon has gone on to forge a career in property development, but returned to screens to host 'The Great House Giveaway'.

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