Coronation Street’s Ian Bartholomew says playing evil abuser Geoff has been hell

Coronation Street star Ian Bartholomew has told how playing violent Geoff Metcalfe on the soap is hell.

The actor, 66, regularly films harrowing scenes for the show’s domestic violence storyline.

Opening up about his struggle behind the scenes, he told the Daily Star: “People ask me if it’s great fun playing a baddie. The short answer is no, it’s not.

“I have had to go to places in myself that I didn’t particularly want to.

“From an acting point of view, it’s fascinating.

“But at the same time, it has been quite difficult because I’ve been going to work every day and being quite horrible.

“Geoff is completely unlikeable. I don’t like him.

“People will always tell you that actors have to find something they love in character to make it work.

“Well, I don’t like anything about Geoff. He is just a very unpleasant human being.

“What was difficult was making it real and as unpleasant as I could without it touching me. It was quite tricky.”

The storyline turned nasty during the early stages of lockdown when domestic violence rates across the country spiked.

Ian added: “The really heavy scenes were on during lockdown and it was hard watching it and knowing it is happening for real outside.”

The plot has been praised by viewers and critics.

But Ian has stayed away from social media over fears he will suffer a backlash over his character’s behaviour.

He said: “I have kept away from Twitter and Facebook. I don’t want to read stuff about myself. I knew that as the character became more unpleasant that it was going to garner more hate.”

Ian has recorded charity single This Time It’s Forever to raise money for Women’s Aid.

For support visit womensaid.org.uk

Corrie continues on Friday at 7.30pm on ITV.

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