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Ben Price (Nick Tilsley, Corrie)

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Ben Price (Nick Tilsley, Corrie)
Gail Platt's prodigal son Nick Tilsley returns to Coronation Street next week with a new look - as former Footballers' Wives actor Ben Price takes over the role from Adam Rickitt. Earlier this year, it was announced that producers intended to recast the part and soon after, Ben landed the job. Edgier than Rickitt's incarnation, Ben brings a more 'worldly' Nick to the table who isn't afraid to put his half-brother David (Jack P Shepherd) in his place. We recently caught up with Ben to chat about joining Corrie, settling in and what's in the pipeline for Nick.

Did you find it difficult to take on a character who's been played by somebody else?
"No, because I can do something different with it. Nick's got to be a bit harder now. He's got to start running the Street and looking after his mum and start to get David into place, so I think it's good that they went with someone else."

Have you made a conscious effort to bring anything new to the character?
"Yeah and I think the stories need it. If I just came back [and it was like], 'Hi Nick!' 'Hi Nicky!' [as if he'd never left, it'd be strange]. There's a bit in the story where David calls me Nicky and I shove him up against the wall and say, 'That's finished, I'm not Nicky now'. Nick's gone away, he's made his money, he's been away for a long time, he's richer and he's lived a bit - he's come out of the Street and he's lived."

Nick's sticking around, right?
"He goes back to Nottingham twice to sort out his business - I think you'll find out in due course what he's been doing - then he comes back and Gail says, 'Look, there's a spare room'. So he goes back and forth and I'm still in that process now. It's quite a big hit when I come in - I get off with Tina and have quite a big fight with David. Nick's only away for a week and then he's back."

Where's Nick been all this time?
"He went to Canada, then Nottingham, then he ran a business there. I think it was a rag trade business and it's done very well, but there's some reason he has to leave Nottingham and I think that will unfurl. I think he's done the dirty on someone to get some money. He's certainly come back richer. His gran Audrey phoned him up and said, 'Look, your mum's getting married'. He's heard from his gran what David's been doing and he thinks, 'Actually, I need to come back and be the man of the house and sort this out, rather than wimp about'. I don't want Nick to be blankly nasty, I want him to be above his brother, but if all gets a bit nasty, Nick will get nasty, too. The cobbles for Nick are where his demons are."

How do you think the audience will react to a new Nick?
"I don't know. They'll probably say he's nothing like [the old one], but it happens with Doctor Who, doesn't it?! People change in Doctor Who. and initially people go, 'Oh, he's a bit different'. I'm not playing Adam Rickitt - I'm playing Nick and Nick's moved on [with his life]. It's been five years and you move a lot over that time. I'm sure people will think he's not like 'the other Nick', but hopefully they'll think I'm bringing something better, nicer or a bit different to the show. If I'm good enough, they'll go with it, but I can't worry about it too much."

What's happened since Nick's been away? Girlfriends? Marriage? Kids?
"I think he's had girlfriends and been through quite a few girls, but I think he's concentrated on making a business and making money. The way I'm playing it is that Nick charms people to get what he wants. He'll get what he wants off someone but he'll say, 'You got something out of it, I got something out of it - that's it'."

How do we first see Nick again?
"He meets Tina in a bar. She comes into a bar and Jason hasn't turned up. Nick's in the bar drinking before he has to go and see his gran and mum the next day. Nick makes a little quip and she gives a little [flirty response] and Nick says, 'I'll buy you a drink, but it's nothing'. I'm so much older than her. It's not like I'm trying to be a hooded claw or anything! I think she worries too much. They get a bit drunk, walk outside and both go in for the kiss. When Nick asks for her number, she says, 'I can't'. The next time you see Nick is Christmas Day and Tina walks into the house. It's then that Nick realises that Tina's going to be his stepsister!"

> Click here to read more from Ben Price on Carla, David Underworld and more!

Additional reporting by Philippa Warr. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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