Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Derek Griffiths on why he said 'Yes' to Coronation Street

There's a good interview with Derek Griffiths in this week's TV Times.  Derek, as we know, will be on-screen next week in Coronation Street as Freddie.  You can read all about him here.

Derek says he's always said no to offers to join a soap, until now.

"I've kept away from regular TV shows on purpose," he says. "Having thrown myself into work for 40 years I decided to give myself some time off. I do some voiceovers for ads and spent a lot of time travelling. What pulled me into Corrie was the script. The part of Freddie was so attractive, I just thought 'Why not?'"

Derek says that he persuaded Coronation Street to make Freddie a cockney, and they agreed.

In the interview, Derek comes across as mischevious as the character he is due to play. He talks about his life as an actor before he got his job on Play School.

"The people at Play School came to see me doing Theatre in Education at Greenwich.  We used to get dockers' kids in and they'd throw boiled sweets at us during pantos.  Sweets hurt when they hit you from about 80 feet up, so I used to dash into the audence and grab them by the scruff of their neck.

All the kids would cry "Yeah, kill him! Kill him!" and they loved it.  These people from Play School saw this and asked if I would present their show, I told them: "I'm te wrong bloke for that," but they replied: "Don't worry, we'll quieten you down."

Derek says he's a huge Coronation Street fan. "As a kid my mother didn't have a TV and Mrs Palmer over the landing used to invite us in to watch her telly.  Whenever we went over, Coronation Street was on. I loved Ena Sharples and remember her with great affection. Those people were like a second family to me and now I feel quite at home working on the show."

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