Coronation Street star Will Mellor in identity theft shock as he delivers stern warning
Over the years, actor Will Mellor has appeared in some of the nation’s best loved shows, from Coronation Street and Broadchurch to Strictly Come Dancing. But there’s one show he’ll never leave behind and that’s Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps.
Having played mechanic Gaz Wilkinson alongside co-stars Ralf Little and Sheridan Smith on the iconic noughties show, Will, now 47, reveals it’s still a huge part of his life.
“It’s still on repeat about five times a day, and people still talk to me about it,” he tells OK!. “It’s the sort of show that got people on the bus and they came on the journey with us.
"We were representing people that weren’t being represented – the working class who just play pool, chat about life and have a few beers. And it’s really nostalgic, which is big at the moment.
"People love to reminisce about it. It was on for 10 years and a lot of people were on that journey with us.”
The Mancunian, who’s touring next year with his Two Pints With Will And Ralf podcast, says he’s still “really proud” of playing Gaz, and has a script ready for a revival written by the show’s creator, Susan Nickson, aptly called Two Pints – Last Orders.
“The BBC turned it down, but I’d love to see what Gaz and Jonny are up to now. I’m here and I’ve said I’ll do it if we can get the funding.
“In the meantime, I’m still doing the podcast with Ralf. We don’t see each other that often but I think that’s why it works. We disagree on things and we’re very different people, but he makes me laugh and I make him laugh, so our friendship just works. We still really enjoy each other’s company.”
Will’s fans also won’t have to wait too long to see him back on screen, as next year he’ll be back in Coronation Street as drug lord Harvey Gaskell. Viewers last saw him back in 2021 as he escaped from prison and fatally shot Natasha Blakeman after mistaking her for Leanne Battersby.
“I love playing Harvey, even though he’s obviously a nasty person,” Will says. “He’s a narcissistic gangster and I don’t get to play those characters a lot. People loved him, and the producers said, ‘We’ve got storylines for him, do you want to come back?’ I was like, ‘100%!’ Plus it’s my mum’s favourite show and pleasing your mum is always a good reason to do something.”
Will’s first stint as the hard-nosed baddie saw him nominated for the Best Villain gong at the 2021 Inside Soap Awards, but he was beaten by Emmerdale’s serial killer Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu). Could it be second-time lucky?
“Listen, I’ve done my best baddie work,” he laughs. “I was sent to prison, broke out of prison, killed someone in the rain – albeit the wrong person. It was all very dramatic. So if I didn’t win it then, I’m not going to win it now. That ship has sailed.”
And Will, who has two children – Jayden, 19, and Renee, 15 – with his wife Michelle McSween, reveals that he was recently embroiled in real-life gangland crime of his own. Last year, the star’s neighbour alerted him to “someone hanging around my mailbox at the bottom of my drive”, so Will asked his postie if he’d spotted anything suspicious.
“He said he had actually seen someone hanging around, and then pointed behind me saying, ‘There he is’, and he was driving up the road behind me and parked on a little side street.
“I ran over to the car but he drove away at speed. When I checked my CCTV there he was, going through my mail, taking letters out of my mailbox in broad daylight.”
After approaching the police, Will learned he’d been targeted by a gang who had opened up several bank accounts in his name to launder their money. It had been going on for months, he says, and even now he’s struggling to close some of the accounts.
The former Hollyoaks star has now teamed up with Shred-it, a company helping businesses destroy personal data effectively, as part of its campaign against identity theft.
“I really want to warn and protect other people,” he says. “If you’re giving away your personal information to companies, you have to know it’s not hanging around because these criminals are so good and they’ll go to such great lengths to get it.”
Another important but much happier 2022 event saw Will strutting his stuff on Strictly Come Dancing with pro partner Nancy Xu.
“I’m supporting Ellie [Leach], who used to be in Coronation Street but I’m not religiously watching it,” he says. “While it brings back some amazing memories, there are also some quite traumatic ones!
“I think I’ve got Post Traumatic Strictly Syndrome. I felt like I’d been run over by a bus for the first month – my body didn’t know what was going on. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done, a real adrenaline rush and I’m very proud, but also it was physically and mentally draining.
“It was an amazing emotional roller coaster, and I’m still glad I can look back and say I did it, rather than I should have done it. And that’s what life’s about – you’ve got to grab these things when they come.”
Will is backing a campaign by Shred-it against identity theft, urging businesses to better protect consumer data. For more, visit shredit.co.uk
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