Saturday, 26 January 2013

Whatever happened to... Richard Hillman?

In the first of a series of guest blog posts from Michael Smith, we take a look back at some of the ex-Coronation Street actors to see where life has taken them since they left the cobbles.

We kick off first with tricky Dicky Hillman, actor Brian Capron.

Who can forget Richard Hillman?

It’s been a decade since Brian Capron terrorised the residents of Weatherfield in his infamous and critically acclaimed role as the serial killer dubbed ‘Tricky Dicky’ by the red tops.

Capron cleaned up at the British Soap Awards in 2003, taking home the gongs for Best Actor, Best Exit and Villain of the Year.

The question then is, once you’ve dealt with the mardy teenage David Platt, taken a crowbar to poor old Emily Bishop and endured Norris’ incessant busy-bodying, where do you go next?

In all seriousness, the success of the Richard Hillman character would always leave Capron with a big decision as to his next role.

He eventually decided on making the transition across the Pennines for a two year stint in Skelthwaite on Where the Heart Is, playing Ozias Harding, a factory owner and somewhat of a bully.

As if drawn to locations with particularly high crime rates, Capron then ventured to the fictional town of Midsomer, to guest star as Dave Hicks: Mayor of Causton and another role where he wasn’t afraid to tread on the wrong side of the thin blue line.

Although his crimes in Midsomer paled in comparison to its other residents (and were a far cry away from his reign of terror in Weatherfield), he did abuse his influence on the council to further his dodgy property deals.

Interestingly, Tricky Dicky did make a (sort of) return to Weatherfield in 2011 for A Knight's Tale, starring as a boatman in a Corrie spin-off DVD. He wasn’t, however, resurrected from the canal 20 million of us saw him plunge into in 2003; Capron returned to play Hillman’s evil brother.

So, with a CV that boasts appearances in Corrie, Eastenders, Where the Heart Is, Grange Hill, Doctors and Midsomer Murders; it seems there isn’t an institutional British television drama that Capron hasn’t appeared in, during the 40 years he’s graced our screens.

He even appeared in 2006 on Strictly Come Dancing.

These days, you’re as likely to see Brian in the pantomime as you are on your television set. He told the Telegraph in December that he was ‘making more in panto than from his pension’!

To book Brian Capron or any other past or present Corrie actors, have a look here.

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Anonymous said...

Great article idea, enjoyed! Love hearing about actors and their gigs. Please tell us about Jean Alexander.

Beth said...

One of my favourite story lines!

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