Coronation Street star reveals why Billy’s name was changed

Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank has revealed why his character Billy Mayhew’s name was changed.

Speaking to Inside Soap, the actor, who has played Weatherfield’s resident vicar since 2014, explained that Billy’s original name was “too posh” so had to be replaced.

“My character was originally going to be called Hugh,” he said, adding: “But the bosses decided that made him sound too posh, so they changed it to Billy!”


Brocklebank continued: “I was told right from the start that the fact he was gay was very incidental; it wasn’t a defining characteristic. When I look back on those first episodes, Billy was a lot cooler.

“He’s more of a nerdy geek now, but everything he’s been through would have a detrimental effect on his coolness, I suppose.

“Or it could be the fact that I’m a massive geek, and I wasn’t able to uphold that coolness for 10 years.”

paul foreman, billy mayhew , coronation street

It has been a difficult time for Billy in recent months, as he comes to terms with his husband Paul Foreman being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Recent scenes saw Billy discover Paul’s plans to end his life, leaving him horrified. Billy later broke down and eventually agreed to help his husband plan to end his life on his own terms.

Brocklebank went on detail the “gruelling” nature of filming Paul’s MND scenes, especially after watching his grandfather go through the same illness.paul foreman, billy mayhew , coronation street

billy mayhew, paul foreman, coronation street

“The past six months have been really gruelling to film, in terms of the emotional content that Pete [Ash, who plays Paul] and I have had to do,” he said.

“In a lot of ways, this MND story has been the most difficult one for me to play, purely because it’s so close to my own lived experience.

“The writing and research teams have been so brilliantly accurate with the way they have portrayed Paul’s illness and Billy caring for him, it’s certainly made me revisit things me and my family went through while caring for my grandfather.”

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