If you’re out and about in Halifax on Wednesday, July 6, you might bump into former Corrie star Steven Arnold (butcher’s son Ashley Peacock in the long-running soap) as he arrives in the town to star in Chaplin – The Charlie Chaplin Story at the Victoria Theatre.
And don’t be afraid to ask for a selfie with the actor who made one of the most dramatic ever exits from the series six years ago – because he’s more than happy to oblige.
“Because of Coronation Street people know my face and still want to see me, so I owe them a massive thank you; the series will always hold a special place in my heart,” he says.
Steven, who now lives in Surrey, spent nearly 16 years in the soap before being killed off in a tram crash.
He went on to feature in the celebrity series Dancing on Ice and Total Wipeout, as well as establishing a busy stage career.
Does he now watch Corrie? “Not regularly,” he says, “because I’m touring a lot and usually on stage at 7.30pm when the show’s on.
“But I made a lot of friends in it and I try to keep in touch with them.”
“I’ve worked pretty much solidly since leaving,” he added, “and it’s allowed to me to try everything that I’d not done before and challenge myself.”
The challenges included playing Bottom in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he describes as the “most daunting thing.”
Steven has a number of roles in Chaplin, which tells the story of the world-famous comic from his impoverished childhood in London to the glitz of early Hollywood.
When researching for the show Steven says he was amazed to learn of Chaplin’s early life.
“He spent time in a workhouse and was split up from his mother,” he described.
“At times he faced starvation. It’s amazing where he got to when you think where he came from, but he had this passion and vision and stuck by what he believed in.”
Chaplin is in Halifax for one night only.
Tickets are £21 to £24 from www.victoriatheatre.co.uk or 01422 351158.