Coronation Street’s Daniel Brocklebank reveals huge change to Billy – and our minds are blown

Billy Mayhew has been a regular fixture on Coronation Street for the last 10 years, but actor Daniel Brocklebank has revealed how the character was nearly very different.

It turns out Billy originally had another name, but execs on the ITV soap changed it before the vicar made his debut on the cobbles because they thought it was ‘too posh’.

Daniel said: ‘My character was originally going to be called Hugh. But the bosses decided that made him sound too posh, so they changed it to Billy!’

Having played the character since 2014, Daniel also reflected on how Billy has changed over the last decade.

 

‘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 he added to Inside Soap.

Coronation Street: Bobby looks for Ken
‘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.’

The actor is currently at the centre of a motor neurone disease storyline, which has seen Billy’s husband Paul Foreman (Peter Ash) diagnosed with the condition.Billy Mayhew, played by Daniel Brocklebank, in Coronation Street

Paul and Billy at a hospital appointment in Coronation Street
Recent weeks have seen Paul’s condition worsen, while recent pictures from location have suggested the two characters will renew their vows in upcoming scenes, after they were spotted filming scenes at a church.

Daniel has a personal connection to Paul’s storyline, as his grandfather was also diagnosed with MND in real life, admitting it had 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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