Will Mellor has told how he finally made mum Shirley proud by landing a role in Corrie, 32 years after she first hoped he would join the soap.

The actor was hired to play drug dealer Harvey. It comes after a difficult 12 months during which he lost dad Bill.

Speaking of Shirley’s joy, Will, 44, said: “I got with an agent in Manchester when I was 12. I went to an open audition, because I couldn’t afford drama school.

“They took me in the room to have a chat. And the agent said, ‘We want him in our agency. He’s got great confidence.’

“And from that moment I got in, mum said, ‘I’d just love him to get on Corrie.’

Will Mellor with his mother Shirley and late father in a personal snap
Will Mellor with his mother Shirley and late father in a personal snap

“And I was 12. So she’s had to wait 32 years. And finally, her son’s on ­ Coronation Street. And not playing the nicest character, but she’s over the moon, so are all the family.

“We’ve all had a really tough year, losing my father last year. And this has been a real boost for us. A bit of fun.

“I love the character. It’s very different for me.”

Will Mellor steps onto the cobbles of Coronation Street Manchester actor Will Mellor will walk into Weatherfield next month as Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) finds herself forced into a dangerous world of drugs and despair. In the coming weeks well see a still grieving Leanne battling to save son Simon (Alex Bain) from the hands of an evil drugs gang hes got mixed up in, after losing her other child Oliver to mitochondrial disease. This fierce maternal instinct to protect Simon is what will throw her into the orbit of drugs lord Harvey, to be played by 44 year old Will Mellor. Harvey is Jacobs boss and after Jacob has lured a vulnerable Simon into his trap, its Harvey who takes over to pile on the pressure and threats when Simon wants out. It soon becomes clear that Leanne and Simon are in way too deep and a menacing Harvey has no intention of letting them out of his grasp. Will said: Im honoured to be asked to come into Coronation Street, its such an iconic show and has been a huge part of my family life. When I started acting 32 years ago it was my mums dream for me to be in Corrie so Im happy to finally be able to make it come true. Its a Manchester institution and as a Manchester actor this is definitely a box ticked. Harvey is the first out and out baddie Ive ever played. Its a very different type of role for me so Im looking forward to getting my teeth into the character and making some waves. Producer Iain MacLeod added: I am so excited to welcome Will into our world. He is a fantastic actor who has thrown himself heart and soul into making his character as terrifyingly real as possible. He will have a massive impact on our characters lives, from the moment he swaggers menacingly onto the screen. Picture contact [email protected] Photographer - Danielle Baguley This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms

Will’s first appearance on screen will be on Friday March 12.

He added: “I will be watching at home with my wife and kids. That will be unusual as stuff I have done hasn’t been something the kids would watch and mostly I am an embarrassment to them.

“But my daughter is a Corrie fan. My mum will be on the phone to tell me what she thinks.”

FROM ITV STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before Tuesday 9th February 2021 Coronation Street Will Mellor steps onto the cobbles of Coronation Street Manchester actor Will Mellor will walk into Weatherfield next month as Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) finds herself forced into a dangerous world of drugs and despair. In the coming weeks well see a still grieving Leanne battling to save son Simon (Alex Bain) from the hands of an evil drugs gang hes got mixed up in, after losing her other child Oliver to mitochondrial disease. This fierce maternal instinct to protect Simon is what will throw her into the orbit of drugs lord Harvey, to be played by 44 year old Will Mellor. Harvey is Jacobs boss and after Jacob has lured a vulnerable Simon into his trap, its Harvey who takes over to pile on the pressure and threats when Simon wants out. It soon becomes clear that Leanne and Simon are in way too deep and a menacing Harvey has no intention of letting them out of his grasp. Will said: Im honoured to be asked to come into Coronation Street, its such an iconic show and has been a huge part of my family life. When I started acting 32 years ago it was my mums dream for me to be in Corrie so Im happy to finally be able to make it come true. Its a Manchester institution and as a Manchester actor this is definitely a box ticked. Harvey is the first out and out baddie Ive ever played. Its a very different type of role for me so Im looking forward to getting my teeth into the character and making some waves. Producer Iain MacLeod added: I am so excited to welcome Will into our world. He is a fantastic actor who has thrown himself heart and soul into making his character as terrifyingly real as possible. He will have a massive impact on our characters lives, from the moment he swaggers menacingly onto the screen. Picture contact [email protected] Photographer - Danielle Baguley This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms

Will said he will wear Bill’s ring on screen as a tribute to him. Harvey will put pressure on Simon Barlow ( Alex Bain ) and mum Leanne ( Jane Danson ) who get mixed up in crime.

And he is prepared for some abuse in the street from fans who struggle to separate real life from soaps. Will added: “I’ve already had messages going, ‘Why can’t you leave Simon and Leanne alone?’

"And I was like, ‘I’m not even on screen yet.’”

*Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.