Inside the life of Coronation Street’s Antony Cotton from MBE to private partner
Coronation Street: Billy and Sean row after breaking up
Antony Cotton is best known for his role as Sean Tully in the ITV soap Coronation Street after he arrived in the cobbles in 2004.
Express.co.uk takes a look inside the life of Antony, from his marriage, being on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022 and his Dancing on Ice stint, as he celebrates his birthday.
Sean arrived in Weatherfield back in 2004 in search of lodgings where he soon found himself at No.11 and being sacked from a cosmetics firm.
He was Underworld’s first male mechanist and quickly became Eileen Grimshaw’s (Sue Clever) surrogate son.
As well as his work in the factory, Sean is also a barman in the Rovers Return since 2005 and took over catering upon Betty Williams’ (Betty Driver) death in 2012, being entrusted with her famous hotpot recipe.
Sean hasn’t had much luck with romance after wearing his heart on his sleeve and having it burned on many occasions.
The two big relationships he went through were with sonographer Marcus Dent (Charlie Condou) and vicar Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) before they left him for Maria Connor (Samia Longchambon) and Todd Grimshaw (Garath Pierce) respectively.
Despite being openly and proudly gay, Sean impregnated his friend Violet Wilson (Jenny Platt) in order to give her a baby, with the understanding that he would play no part in the child’s upbringing.
However, when Dylan Wilson (Liam McCheyne) was born, Sean went back on the deal causing Violet to flee.
He eventually traced his son to London in 2011, with his role in Dylan’s life being limited to the occasional visit until 2022, when Dylan persuaded him and Violet to let him have an extended stay in Weatherfield.
A notable low point for Sean was in 2018 when he lost both of his jobs and became homeless, resorting to begging on the streets.
He was rescued by Billy, who let him move into 19a Rosamund Street until he got back on his feet, and is now back at No.11 with Eileen and Todd.
Marriage to Peter Eccleston
Antony met Peter Eccleston, who is a prop buyer, when they both worked together on Coronation Street and have been a couple since 2005.
The pair keep their relationship private with the occasional update on social media, giving fans a small insight into their marriage.
He told InsideSoap back in 2017: “We are an incredible team and Peter brings out my best side.
“He is always looking out for me and protecting me when we’re out, while I look after him at home.”
Coronation Street connections
It’s not just Antony and his partner who are connected through Weatherfield, as his mother Enid Dunn has also appeared on the show.
She’s made four brief appearances with the last being in 2014, playing the part of the aunt of the late Dennis Stringer (Charles Dale) at his funeral.
She more recently played Maureen Rothwell, the victim of an attempted mugging and was also in the one-off special The Road to Coronation Street as tea lady Agnes.
His partner Peter’s father, Keith, also reportedly worked as a construction manager on the Corrie set at MediaCityUK.
Outside of his real-life family, Antony has also played matchmaker with his co-stars such as Kym Marsh and Jennie McAlpine in setting them up with their respective husbands.
Dancing on Ice
Antony took part in the ITV skating show back in 2018 and was paired with pro-Brandee Malto, an American skater who came over from California to be on the show.
Speaking ahead of his time on the show, he said: “I’ve got this weird fixation about slicing my fingers off. I better get my skates on – I’ve got practising to do.”
During the week of his elimination, they had to include a tricky end-to-end step sequence from one length of the rink to the other.
To make the routine even more complex, the judges challenged the couples to incorporate the moves into the choreography.
After going head-to-head with Max Evans and Donna Air, all four judges decided to put through Max and send home Donna and Antony.
Touching on his journey, he explained: “I’ve had an absolute blast and I can go forward and backwards so I’m thrilled.”
Queen’s Birthday Honors List 2022 and Charity work
Away from his role on Coronation Street, Antony has done a lot of charity and uses fame to get the word out there for the charities.
He’s an ambassador the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), Veterans Garage and the Manchester United Foundation (MU Foundation).
He’s also a patron of Heroes, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity (RMCH Charity) and Manchester Pride.
Because of his work with the organisations, Antony was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List with an MBE for his service to the British army, personnel and veterans.
Antony previously revealed to Manchester Evening News that he stepped in to help a man who was homeless.
He said that someone he knew, but whom he wasn’t friends with, had messaged him on social media asking for help as he had been living in the stairway of a block of flats.
The actor said he asked for assistance from charities Barnabus and Homes of Hope, adding that a home was found for the man shortly afterwards and he later found employment.
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