Inside Corrie Frank Bardsley stars life – second job, rival soap & real age

Coronation Street welcomed a brand new face at the end of last month.

On May 27, the ITV soap introduced Weatherfield newcomer Frank Bardsley.

Portrayed by actor Simon O'Brien, the character appeared in the Rovers Return as a potential new love interest for Sean Tully (Antony Cotton).

Forecast to stick around the cobbles for the next few months, fans may recognise Simon from his famous role on a rival Channel 4 soap.

The actor famously portrayed Damon Grant on Brookside, he has also starred on Grange Hill and Casualty while navigating a number of other roles and professions over the years.

Daily Star takes a look inside his life…

Second job

While Simon began his television career in acting, he has also made a big name for himself in the presenting world.

Following his Brookside departure, he acted in a variety of small roles before giving presenting a try.

In the 1990s, Simon presented the BBC football show Standing Room Only.

He also fronted the first three series of the ITV children's quiz show I Can Do That and the BBC's To Buy or Not to Buy.

Over recent years, Simon has moved back to Channel 4 to present programmes including Lost and Found.

Most recently, he presented the broadcaster's popular property show, The Great House Giveaway.

Rival soap

Simon rose to fame portraying Damon Grant on Brookside from 1982 to 1987.

His character was memorably the offspring of Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston's characters Bobby and Sheila Grant, with the actors later teaming up for their own hit BBC series Royle Family.

In 1987, Simon was cast in the three-part Brookside spin-off show Damon and Debbie – which was to be the first standalone series in soap history.

In the Damon and Debbie finale, Simon's character Damon was tragically killed off at Simon's own request.

He was fatally stabbed to death.

Real age

Simon is 56 years old.

In spite of his advancing age, his Corrie character Frank is set to ruffle a few feathers in his pursuit of a relationship with Sean.

With Sean's son, Dylan Wilson ( Liam Mccheyne) poised to return to the cobbles within the next few months, it's been predicted by Simon that his character Frank will begin to feel some jealousy as Sean's loyalties are tested.

Speaking recently, Simon said (via Digital Spy): "I think what we'll see, and where the cracks might start to appear with Frank's character, is that he's jealous of anyone else having any kind of pull or bond with Sean.

"You're not going to compete between a father and son, but Frank doesn't see it like that.

"You'll the tug-of-war for the affections of Sean, and then you'll start to see Frank's façade drop."

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