Coronation Street’s ‘Curly’ looks totally different as he takes on new punk role

Some soap characters become unforgettable, and “Curly” Watts is one of them.

The Coronation Street legend graced our screens for two decades after making his debut on the cobbles in the 80s. Kevin Kennedy assumed the role in 1983 before bidding farewell in 2003.

 

It’s astonishing to think it’s been over 20 years since we last saw the character on our screens. However, he’s recently announced he’ll be taking on a fresh role by starring in a punk rock musical.

 

The new show – Pretty Vacant – is set to kick off its tour in January 2025, with Kevin as the narrator. It promises to take audiences on a nostalgic journey from the birth of punk in the 1970s through to subsequent movements in the 80s and 90s.

As well as this, it will recount how the genre of music forever altered the world. Kevin, who was a member of Paris Valentinos alongside Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke, who later formed The Smiths, plans to bring his real-life experience to the show.

He expressed his excitement to WestEndBestFriend, saying: “I’m so excited to be joining the cast of Pretty Vacant. When punk exploded on the scene in 1977, it truly was a revolution it changed our music, our fashion and every aspect of the arts! I witnessed it all… Let’s do it again… together.”

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Pretty Vacant will include hits from music legends such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Blondie, The Damned, Ramones and Joy Division. But this isn’t the first time the actor will undergo a significant rock transformation.

In 2009, Kevin played the part of “Pop”, an aging hippie, in the touring production of We Will Rock You, brought to stage by Queen and Ben Elton. He later joined the show’s West End cast in 2010.

Fast forward to 2015, Kevin reprised his role for the inauguration of “RCI Anthem of the Seas”, which ranks third among the world’s largest cruise liners. Since then, he has frequently donned his “Pop” persona, with an unforgettable performance on UK’s Seacation cruises departing from Southampton in October 2023.

Formerly known as Corrie’s paperboy, Kevin has noticeably transfigured into a rockstar persona, almost unrecognisable from his humble TV beginnings. Previously, he has also been very open about his experience with addiction.

Kevin Kennedy played “Curly” Watts for 20 yearsKevin Kennedy looks totally different since his days as Norman "Curly" Watts
The actor pictured at the National Film Awards in 2019 (Image: Getty Images)
The actor once woke up in an ambulance after suffering a seizure in the late 1990s, and it drastically changed his life. His addiction was so extreme that when his wife Claire left him, he felt relief as he could drink alone without concealing it, he told The Sun.

In 2022, he confessed his wake up moment came in May 1998. His alcohol-dependent holiday in Barbados with Claire resulted in him deciding to adopt sobriety.

Nonetheless, during a shopping spree in Manchester, just two days off the bottle, he experienced a blackout after drinking Diet Coke.

He recounted: “I came to in the ambulance and it scared the hell out of me. I knew I would die if I carried on but emotionally I didn’t get it, the addiction was telling me it was normal.”

Following this, he revealed his hidden addiction to the show’s bosses and was subsequently sent to The Priory Rehab Clinic. Now, after more than two decades of sobriety, Kevin stated that he believes the show “saved my life.”

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