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Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow, Corrie)

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Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow, Corrie)
Coronation Street actor Chris Gascoyne returned to tread the Cobbles for another stint as Peter Barlow at the end of October - and this time he had his son Simon (Alex Bain) in tow. Following his wife Lucy's off-screen death, Peter took custody of Simon and returned home to Weatherfield in the hope of starting afresh. His drinking habit has seen his life begin to spiral out of control. Here, Chris chats to DS about his Corrie comeback, his latest storyline and his relationships with Simon and Ken.

What's it like to be back with Corrie full time?
"I've been back for just over three months now and it's flown by. It's pretty much all the same as it was to be honest. I think having experience doing Corrie for the last number of years on and off, you learn different ways to handle your day to make it easy for yourself. At the moment, I'm really enjoying it and it's really good to be back and I'm really enjoying the storyline."

What was it that lured you back?
"I did three years and then left, but when I went, I always said to them that I'd love to go back. I've been really lucky to be able to do that. When they sent me the storyline, I thought it was great. To be honest, they've always written really well for me. I've never had to make any suggestions to them."

Did you have any reservations about the return?
"No, I was really up for it. When you play a character every day, they're always with you anyway. You never lose them! When you look at Ken Cop, who plays Jed, he did it for five years ages ago and he's back again - it's a full circle. I'd always wondered about Peter and where he'd been, what he'd been up to."

And you've come back with a slightly new look, with a beard - was that intentional?
"That was intentional really. He's not been having a great time and he's let himself go a bit. I think when he comes back after Christmas, we'll change him again. I'll probably give him a clean shave and a smart haircut after he comes back from rehab."

Were you pleased when you heard that Peter was going to get the bookies back?
"Yeah, because when I did the last stint, they said that it didn't seem right without Peter in the bookies. Peter's glad to have it back, not least because Leanne works there!"

Peter's slowly been spiraling out of control…
"Yeah, he's been trying against the odds to sort his life out, but he can't. And when it doesn't work and it all goes wrong for him, he has a drink. There are hurdles in his way all the time. He's stubborn and resents people telling him what to do. He'll listen to advice, but he won't take any notice if he thinks the person giving it isn't in a place to do so. That happens a lot with Ken."

Does he love Simon?
"Yeah, but he doesn't know how to show it. As the story carries on, you'll see that Peter has the potential to be a fantastic dad to Simon. At the moment, he naturally loves him, but Peter doesn't feel he's good enough to look after him. Peter just thinks that Simon should be with a family who is equipped to look after him. It's not that Peter wants to get shot of him."

Does Ken have a lot to do with Peter's attitude towards Simon?
"Yeah, that's the root of everything he does. There's a little bit of Peter that's stuck in a child's mindset. He's never really cleared that up."

There's a touching moment at the beginning of Christmas week where Peter realises the havoc he's causing…
"Yeah, it's just after the nativity scenes. I just wanted to die for Peter for what he did. I loved doing those scenes - it's quite a dark humour. It's when Simon recites his nativity lines in the living room, that's what touches Peter. He starts to question how he can be such a bad father, but Simon can still look up to him the way he does. It's a lovely little moment. It's from that moment that he resolves to make amends and decides to go on the wagon."

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