When we catch up with Will Mellor and his wife Michelle, 43, the pair are full of the joys of the season having done a festive family shoot with their two children Jayden, 17, and Renee, 13.
“We don’t do that kind of thing together a lot, as we tend to keep our lives private,” admits Will. But, he continues, “the kids were up for it, and we all really enjoyed it.”
Not that he needs encouragement to get into the Christmas spirit – the Coronation Street actor and Michelle have us in stitches as they recall memories of Will running around the garden with jingle bells. And, as he tells us about his own childhood memories, it’s clear this time of year is special – and always has been – for the Mellors.
Sadly, Will’s beloved father Bill passed away suddenly in April last year. The 45-year-old actor does his best to hold it together when talking about how he remembers his dad, but it’s hard.
Michelle is there to comfort him, and it’s plain to see that the couple – who will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary next year – are as strong as can be.
Here, they talk about how you will find the Mellors in Christmas pyjamas come the big day, dancing in the kitchen, plus they spill a saucy secret about keeping the passion alive. Will also fills us in on how he found life in Weatherfield during his Corrie stint, and why he wishes drug lord Harvey Gaskell had been killed off…
Hi, Will and Michelle. How are you both doing?
Michelle: I’ve been feeling a bit drained recently but I’m better now. It’s been a busy few weeks!
Will: It was nice doing the shoot, though. We don’t do that kind of thing together a lot as we tend to keep our lives private. But we asked the kids and they were up for it, so we all really enjoyed it.
Will, you’ve had an amazing year playing super baddie Harvey in Coronation Street…
It was great to play a Corrie baddie. I feel like I’ve ticked off a career goal with that, and my mum was so proud of me.
He wasn’t killed off during the epic Super Soap Week sequence. Could a return be on the cards?
Will: I was all for them killing Harvey off. It would’ve been a good ending. I wanted to go in, make a splash, and come out.
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What’s the response been from fans?
Will: Nothing but positive. I think if it had been my first job then I would’ve got more stick. All I really had was people wanting pictures with me with my hands around their throat. [Laughs]
We heard you thought that you had a brain tumour while filming for Corrie…
Will: That’s right! It was actually chronic sinusitis that I caught from filming under the rain bars so much. It was so hard working through those scenes. As soon as you arrived on set someone would spray you down with cold water and then you’d be in this freezing cold rain for up to eight hours straight. I literally couldn’t get warm. I felt sorry for Jane [Danson] because she was literally shaking from head to toe.
What do your kids think about you being famous?
Will: Jayden is really laid-back about it all, but Renee gets quite embarrassed! I picked her up from school the other day and there was a group of kids waving at me frantically. She got in the car like, “Drive! Drive! Drive!”. [Laughs] She’s great at spotting when people are secretly filming and taking pictures though.
What are your kids like? Were they itching to get in front of the camera for the shoot?
Will: No, not until I said I’ll give them some money. [Laughs]
Michelle: Honestly, they’re really laid-back. They don’t get excited about much!
Will: It’s good experience for them. Jayden is going into modelling – he has signed with Wilano – and Renee is really creative.
That’s exciting! Have you given them any advice from your pin-up days?
Will: I wasn’t really a model, so no. The only advice I give them is to be a decent person, turn up on time and try to leave something positive behind.
Do they get their looks from you or Michelle?
Will: Me, obviously. [Laughs]
You must get a lot of attention from female fans. Does Michelle mind that?
Will: She doesn’t really. There was just this one time when a guy brought his girlfriend over to our table at dinner. He asked me to sign her boobs while we were eating dinner, which Michelle wasn’t the happiest about! We weren’t even married back, then so it was an interesting date to say the least!
Michelle, can you tell us a bit more about what you do?
Michelle: I run a performing arts school. We do a show every year around this time and that takes me up to the middle of December. It’s very stressful and I tend to lose a bit of weight in the run-up to Christmas… I pile it all back on by New Year, though!
You dipped your toe into the I’m A Celeb… world for The Keith Lemon Sketch Show. Would you ever consider doing it for real?
Will: Honestly, this is the first year they’ve not asked me to do it, which is strange because I’ve been really busy this year. Since my dad died, I’ve realised you’ve got to do what you enjoy in life. I’m not going to turn things down anymore because I’m worried it might be a bad career move or that I’ll get caught up in drama. The only thing is, I’m scared of everything and I hate camping, so I don’t think I’d be any good in there.
Do you ever reunite with your former showbiz pals from Hollyoaks or Two Pints of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps?
Michelle: You don’t see them much at all… You’re not really a showbizzy person, are you?
Will: No, not at all. I like to spend as much time as possible with my family and keep myself to myself really. I do my job and then come home. Saying that, I’m going up north soon and I’ll probably bump into Leigh Francis [Keith Lemon] in Leeds. We’ll catch up over a couple of drinks. I do a podcast with Ralf [Little, who co-starred in Two Pints Of Lager].
Are you still pals with Sheridan Smith, who also came to fame on that sitcom?
Will: I haven’t spoken to her in about six years. I tried calling her for about a year but she never got back to me. I offered her my support when her father died, but she never reached out when my dad passed away, which was quite significant for me as we were very close and she knew my family. That said a lot to me. I wish her well with her career and life though.
Who is your most famous friend?
Will: It’s weird when they’re your friends because you don’t look at them as famous – they’re just people. I’d have to say Danny Dyer, Paddy McGuinness, Leigh Francis and Gino D’Acampo. They’re all people I can speak to.
What’s next for you, career-wise?
Will: I’m open to anything and happy to see what comes along. Family time is precious to me, so it has to be the right thing. I’d love to do a film, more drama, or play another villain.
It’s that time of year again! What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
Michelle: Family time. You spend the whole year stressed out and then suddenly you’ve got these two weeks where you don’t have to look at the time and can just enjoy yourself with family and friends. That’s the best thing.
Will: I love seeing our extended family. Also, being allowed to have a drink at midday is no bad thing. [Laughs] My brother-in-law starts at about 10am! He says, “It’s Christmas, I’m having a rum.”
What kind of things do you do to get into the festive spirit?
Will: We love to switch off and take a trip down to the coast – or wherever the mood takes us. We’re quite free as a family. Routine kills our vibe so we try to do new things. Life’s an empty book, you’ve just got to fill in the pages, so we try and have fun together.
Talk us through Christmas Day at your house…
Michelle: My family usually comes over. We’ll have them here for a few days, then we go to Manchester to see Will’s family and then we come back here for New Year.
Will: We’ve both got big families, but we’ve been together for so long now it’s like one huge unit. This year is also the first time in a long time that Michelle’s parents will be with us. They’re coming over from the Caribbean so it’s gonna be special. It’ll be chaos though – especially for Michelle in the kitchen all day.
Michelle: Between you and me, I secretly like it!
Will: I’ll remind you of that when you start to complain!
Michelle: I do complain every year like, “I’m never doing this again!” But I love it.
Will: Michelle and her sisters always jump around the kitchen in their Christmas PJs.
Is that a tradition of yours?
Will: Yeah, we do it every year, so when people come to ours we buy Christmas pyjamas for them to wear on the day. We get a bit dressed up for dinner, but in the morning it’s Christmas jammies only.
Any more traditions your family sticks to?
Will: We all play games and watch Christmas movies while Michelle has a kip. [Laughs]
Michelle: I always read The Night Before Christmas to the kids. And “Santa” makes a jingling noise outside the window. We still do the Santa thing.
Will: Yeah, every year Santa’s knocked some coal out of the fire and there are footprints leading over to the presents near the tree…
Michelle: There’ s crumbs everywhere from the biccies.
Will: He’s a messy sod, our Santa. Every year – even though the kids know – they go, “Oh! Look, Santa’s done it again!” and I go, “He’s a pain, always wrecking my fireplace.”
That’s lovely! Did your parents do stuff like that when you were little?
Will: Oh, yeah. That’s what sparked it for me and makes me want to keep the magic alive. I remember one year I hid a recording device to try and catch Santa. I thought I was so clever. When I listened the next day you could hear it all: bells jingling, elves whispering – the lot. Years later, my mum and dad said, “Do you know how much fun we had doing that? We had to keep re-recording it because we were laughing our heads off.” That meant a lot to me.
Will, sadly you lost your dad last year.Do you find you get more emotional around Christmas?
Will: It’s hard. I try to put it all to the back of my mind, because when it comes to the front it hits me in the stomach.
Michelle, you must be a great support for Will…
Michelle: I’m just there to listen. I can see when his mood changes, so I try to be whatever he needs at the time. Like now… he’s drifted off with it a little bit.
Will: Grief hits you when you don’t expect it. I wear his ring, it reminds me of him. And I have a candle with a picture of him that I light and have a little drink to him.
What a lovely tribute. Did having kids change Christmas for you?
Will: It keeps the magic alive.
Michelle: It reminds you of being a child again because you forget for a few years.
Are there any Christmas traditions you’ve let go of over the years?
Will: Elf on the Shelf!
Michelle: Anybody out there reading this, do not start it! It’s a nightmare! Sounds like a great idea when you start, then you get to year three and you’re scrambling for ideas.
What will you be watching on Christmas Day?
Michelle: I don’t really get to sit down until about 9pm!
Will: She’ll have a cocktail in her hand – I make sure that it’s topped up – and she will be dancing around the kitchen with her sisters – there’s no need to get the violin out! We just love all the classics like Home Alone, Elf, that kind of thing.
Let’s talk presents. What’s it like buying gifts for one another?
Michelle: I’m quite easy to buy for, but Will is an absolute nightmare! He’ll drop hints all through the year, you’ll get it for him, and he’ll open it and say, “Why have you got me that?”
Will: It’s not that I’m ungrateful! Look, I’m a giver – not a receiver.
What have you asked for this year?
Will: It’s the same every year – pants, socks and moisturiser. I get anti-wrinkle cream all the time. I think the family are trying to tell me something. [Laughs]
Any memorable gifts?
Michelle: I bought Will fart pants. They’ve got a filter in them to stop the fart smelling.
Will: The kids followed me around all day waiting for me to fart to see if it worked!
Is it hard to shop for one another after being together for so long?
Will: We just find it hard in general. We’re bored stiff of each other! [Laughs]
Michelle: Oh, it’s all coming out now!
Will: Just kidding. I need socks and pants and she needs Mac makeup.
Michelle: It’s Fenty now.
Will: Oh, is it? Good job you mentioned it or I would’ve got the wrong one!
What will you be tucking into on Christmas Day?
Michelle: Every Christmas Will has a go at me, telling me I’m cooking too much food.
Will: There’s more food than you can imagine. We have four meats: pork, turkey, lamb and triple-smoked ham. It’s a feast that could feed a football team.
You two are amazing! How do you manage to keep the romance alive?
Will: Sex in the afternoon!
Michelle: Wa-hey! [Laughs]
Will: We just make time for each other. We hate routine – it kills the romance – so it’s important for us to step out of that when we can.
Is he as romantic as he’s making out to be?
Michelle: Yeah, he is. He does things out of the blue, which is nice. But Will hates Valentine’s Day.
Will: Rushing to the garage to pick up flowers isn’t romantic to me. Turning up on a random Wednesday when Michelle has had a tough day with a present is way more thoughtful.
Lastly, what are you and the family looking forward to in 2022?
Will: Hopefully we’ll be going to Grenada.
Michelle: It’s been two years since we were meant to go – the flights keep getting cancelled. It’ll be so nice to get to the Caribbean and see my parents. We haven’t been there for nine years, so Renee can barely remember it.
Will: It’s so important for the kids to know about their heritage, so it’ll be lovely for them to see it. Fingers crossed!
Will Mellor and Ralf Little are taking their podcast Two Pints with Will and Ralf on tour next year. Find out more and buy tickets here.
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Will Mellor and wife Michelle invite OK! into their home for rare family shoot Source link Will Mellor and wife Michelle invite OK! into their home for rare family shoot