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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

Coronation Street's Chesney star says 'it's mad' as he aims to be 'new Roy Cropper' after special milestone

Coronation Street star Sam Aston has addressed his upcoming milestone on the soaps as he says: "It's mad!" The actor was just 10-yearw-old when he was cast in the ITV soap as the son of son of Cilla Battersby-Brown and the half-brother of Fiz Dobbs.

Over the years Sam's character has been involved in a whole host of storylines - from being held hostage to becoming a dad of quads. But next week, Corrie viewers will see Chesney walk down the aisle as he ties the knot with Gemma Winter.

After a fall out with her twin brother Paul Foreman, Bill Mayhew will be left having to persuade Paul to attend. But after hearing from Joseph that Gemma has been crying, Paul apologises and all is forgiven. And soon, in the church, the congregation watches as Paul, battling his Motor Neurone Disease symptoms walks Gemma down the aisle in a jaw-dropping dress of her dreams.

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As the couple exchange vows to cheers from family and friends, it looks like nothing can ruin their day. But how will Bernie react when she finds out that Linda secretly funded the wedding? And in a bid to diffuse the situation, Paul makes a speech, but becoming emotional he hurries out, dragging his foot. Is Gemma about to face heartbreak on her wedding day?

Speaking about how Chesney feels about the big day, which has so pretty much been all of Gemma's doing, Sam told the Manchester Evening News and other press: "Initially he was [stressed] because at first there was the idea of starting his burger place but then, he's a very practical and sensible guy so initially he was just thinking about money and [thinking] we're already up against it, how can we afford this?

"But when he realises how much it means to Gemma to get married and solidating us being a family, I think certainly in the build-up to it, the money issues, even though they're there, I don't think he wants to put that stress on Gemma because Gemma just wants to have a really goo time. So you don't really see too much of that on that final run-up the wedding, it's just wanting Gemma to have the best day possible and we'll worry about the money side later."

Gemma and Chesney are tying the knot in Corrie (ITV)

And as Chesney prepares for one of most eye-catching wedding days Weatherfield has probably ever seen, Sam himself will have a reason to celebrate as he marks 20 years in Coronation Street later this year having made his on-screen debut in November 2003. And he didn't expect to be there this long.

"It's a whirlwind," he told us. "I think anyone who works in the building, not just cast, I think it's crazy, you come in and time just seems to fly here. I came in on a six month contract as Cilla's son and Fiz's brother, just to do a few eps and before you know it, I've been here 20 years. It's just mad.

"I didn't think I would [still be here] but with us getting 12 month contracts, you always think 'could it be that it's my time now?' But fortunately enough, I'm still here. It's crazy."

Sam when he joined the ITV soap as Chesney Brown (ITV)

But his year's service to the soap mean that he's now among the longest-serving cast members still on-screen. "I do feel like I've been here forever but at the same time, it's like, I try not to rest on any of my laurels... Sometimes when you step back, you do have to pinch yourself and think, 'Wow, this is mad. I do this for a living.' I'm so fortunate to work somewhere like this."

Asked whether he could imagine being on the soap for another 20 years, playing a middle-aged Chesney with grown-up children, Sam said: "I'd love to still be here in 20 years. If the powers that be would want me still to be here then I'd love to be."

He added: "I can imagine that. I can imagine old-man Chesney literally being an old man, pottering off to the Rovers for a cheeky half. It would be an honour if am. We'll just have to wait and see. He might be like the new Roy Cropper or something. Or maybe the new Norris, who knows!"


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