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Thursday 28 December 2023

Cast Chat - Jack Carroll Joins Coronation Street as ‘Bobby’

Last night, Coronation Street fans got their first glimpse at the new man in Carla’s life - her long-lost nephew, Bobby! Back in November, this blog (alongside UK soap media) had a press chat with newcomer, actor & comedian Jack Carroll, who told us about his debut role on the street!

How does it feel to join the cobbles, arriving in the middle of Christmas?

"Well, it's fantastic, and I don't think there's any better time of year because everyone is glued to their television screens and I'll be there causing chaos, bringing a distraction from their selection boxes - which is a great honour!"

How did you get the part on Coronation Street? 

"It was pitched but then we had to wait a little bit. We then found out it was going ahead, and I found out I would be playing Bobby. It's a pretty great part and great for me as well! I think the fact that there's, you know, quite a lot of my tricks and my comedic character in there so it is a good thing. I hope my personality and Bobby can meet in the middle!"

Can you describe Bobby to us in your own words? What's he like?

"He is a lovable trouble-causer. I think he gets away with a lot and kind of leans on his cheekiness and his disability. I wouldn't know about either of those two things - it's quite the stretch for me to play (!) He's a kind of humorous character in that classic kind of Corrie way. I think there's an emotional part to the character that we will explore more as we go forward, and I think that that'll be fun to play as well"

Can you explain how Bobby ends up in Carla’s flat? 

"He’s the son of Rob Donovan, and his mum kicks him out because she gets into a new relationship, and her boyfriend doesn't want Bobby around because of his friction-causing personality. He goes to his dad in prison who says ‘I can't look after you’ so he sends him to Carla's door for her to look after him. Carla takes pity on him and takes him in. It's not always a smooth transition for them, and some trouble is caused. I think there are some funny kinds of escapades they end up with from the result of it!"

What does he think of Carla initially when he meets her because they have not had that relationship before?

"I don't know whether it's a slight emotional manipulation tactic on Bobby's part, but I think he expects her to be a kind of familial element of familiarity right there from the beginning. Carla's not that kind of personality, so it takes a little while for her to warm up to him. When that clicks, I think that a double act begins to materialise!"

How has it been to join the street and work with Ali King?

"It's been fantastic, especially in the first couple of weeks when it was just me and Ali. Having (Ali's) support and knowledge, and you know, she's a lovely person as well, to have her as my main kind of foil for the first bit of the shoots has been brilliant. I think that is the key to those scenes, we've become a kind of comedy double act. I think those first few scenes are almost like little two-hander sketches that end up in that kind of double-act scenario!"

Is it important to see disability represented on a show like Coronation Street?

"I mean it's amazing! but I think also the execution of it because even though the disability is mentioned and kind of put front and centre, it's never in an obvious or trite way. I think he (Bobby) knows it has its uses (he mentions it a lot), but I think a lot of it is to show that he is a person with foibles, difficulties and quirks that go beyond the disability. It's not just a disability-centric story. There's all different types of disabled people, they should all get the grace to be able to show that variety, and I think they've managed to do that with Bobby!"

Thanks, Jack!

Jack also told us about potential future romance for his character, comedy scenes with Maureen Lipman, and (obviously) Bobby will be working at Underworld! 

Comedy and disability representation is a brave juxtaposition, but personally, I think Jack Carroll will be a great addition to the cast! What are your thoughts? (be kind, this blogger wears hearing aids)  

@rybazoxo Corrie Blogger and Cobbles Connoisseur 


Anonymous said...

He had more lines in his first episode than the actor playing Simon has had in about 5 years!

Humpty Dumpty said...

I don't get this new arrival at all. I thought Carla didn't know Rob had a son. She not only immediately believes Bobby is her nephew but takes him in. Doesn't bother to make any checks before allowing this complete stranger into her flat. Would be a good twist if this Bobby is a fraud, a mate of the real Bobby perhaps. Or Rob Donovan is making a come-back to Corrie and this is the set-up.

Humpty Dumpty said...

OK, I've just re-read the preview and there was a phone call with Rob. Once again, I must have dropped off during Corrie!

Anonymous said...

Corrie already have two disabled characters,Alex and Izzy and yet the writers never featured them in storylines to raise awareness whereas the only reason Bobby will be getting storylines is because he's Carla's nephew!
If it wasn't for that fact,Bobby wouldn't be featured at all!

Anonymous said...

I recognised Jack Carroll before reading this. He's a talented young man and I agree that disabled characters aren't necessarily saintly. Sandy in Crossroads, Chris Tate in Emmerdale. But I hope they don't overdo it. However, is the situation realistic? Bobby may be an adult, but can his mother legally throw him out with no notice, and make her vulnerable son homeless? Social services would have to be involved. But there is potential for humour, and it's good that Carla has a new focus following Peter's departure.
As for Simon, what a pointless character. Did he get any A‐levels? What does he actually do at the faktri? Why doesn't he join Peter for a gap year? Then not come back!

Fluttershy said...

Could be a fun character if they tone down his annoying hyperactivity a little, his intro was very OTT and I think he might be topping the most hated character polls soon. Please make him less annoying quickly!

Sharon boothroyd said...

I agree Anon that Jack Carrol is a talented young man - but he's not right for Corrie.
Obviously, I'm in the minority, as the producers disagree.
He can learn and recite his lines, but I don't feel that acting is one of his core strong skills.
But really good, strong actors like Ryan and Chris (Peter Barlow) have gone.
I actually thought the guy who plays Paul's new carer was a far better actor than Jack Carroll.
It's been mentioned by Anon that disabled characters such as Alex an Izzy aren't given major story lines (Why not?) but he's been brought in as a main draw.
The team say there are dark times ahead, apparently. So he'll need to do drama as well as 'comedy'.

Anonymous said...

This guy is the absolute worst. I have been watching coronation Street since 1985. He is by far the most annoying character that they have ever created. I suppose I should be grateful that my remote has a mute button!


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