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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sue Crawford

Corrie's Chesney star Sam Aston admits fears he'll be axed as he marks 20 years on soap

He has been part of the show since he was nine and it’s hard to imagine Coronation Street without him. But after 20 years on the cobbles, Sam Aston still fears his character could be axed.

The contracts of Corrie cast members come up for renewal every 12 months, and Sam admits it’s always a stressful time.

The actor, who plays Chesney Brown on the ITV soap, says: “I worry about it every year, 100%.

“I’ve had that thought more so as an adult because I have more responsibilities now.

“I have two children and I’ve got a mortgage. People say to me ‘you are part of the furniture, you’ll be here for ever’ but I don’t see it like that. I just take it one year at a time.

“I’m lucky to be here. I’ve never taken it for granted or rested on my laurels. No character is bigger than the show, so I’m always very grateful when I get that call asking me to stay.”

William Roache has played Ken Barlow for 62 years and Sam, 29, would love to emulate him.

Sam has played Chesney for 20 years (Fremantle Media/REX/Shutterstock)

“It would be surreal but cool,” he smiles. “People have watched me grow up and I can imagine Chesney being an old man and pottering off to the Rovers. It would be an honour.”

Over his 20 years on the show, Sam has featured in a host of dramatic storylines, from his early days of mischief and misery with Great Dane Schmeichel and heartless mother Cilla, to his more recent struggles as a dad of five, including quadruplets. And next week, viewers will see him finally tie the knot with partner Gemma Winter in a dream wedding.

However, Sam reveals that in his late teens, things went quiet, as the show’s writers struggled to find storylines for him. “It was a strange time when I was leaving high school,” he reflects. “It was weird moving from child actor to adult actor.

Chesney and Gemma are set to tie the knot (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

“I had a meeting with the producer. She said: ‘You’re not cute little Chesney any more but you’re not a full grown adult man either.’ Things were a bit quiet.”

Prior to arriving on the cobbles in 2003, Sam starred in adverts for Warburtons bread and George school uniforms, as well as appearing on TV in The Bill and Where The Heart Is. “When you work with adults as a child it makes you grow up more quickly,” Sam explains. “My friends would be goofing around and I’d think it was a bit immature. I never got fake ID or got drunk at the pub. I didn’t want to squander the opportunity I had.

“My friends say I have an old head on young shoulders. Dolly-Rose Campbell [screen partner Gemma] calls me Old Man Chesney.”

Sam, from Bacup, Lancs, has two children – Sonny, two, and Daisy, one – with his wife Briony. The couple began dating when Sam was 18. “We went to the same drama workshop when we were 14,” he recalls. “We got together. She never lets me forget it, but I ended it!

“Then, a couple of years later, I bumped into her again. We went out for a meal to an old man’s pub, and we’ve never looked back.”

Chesney and Gemma’s wedding is on ITV1 and ITVX next Monday at 8pm.

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