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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

ITV Coronation Street and The Games: Real life of Colson Smith - incredible weight loss, co-star 'dad' and other jobs

Coronation Street's Colson Smith will be on TV double-time this week as he won't just be appearing in the ITV soap. The actor, best known for playing Craig Tinker, has spent weeks travelling between Manchester and London as he trained for The Games.

The new show begins on Monday night (May 9) and sees 12 celebrities - including Colson - battle it out in a sporting spectacular event across a week of live programmes. The stars have been trained and coached for the events including diving and weight lifting.

But it all comes down to the live show where the celebrities will rack up points and at the end of the competition, the contestants that receive the most points will be awarded either a gold, silver or bronze medal with one male champion and one female crowned the winners of The Games.

READ MORE: ITV Emmerdale's April makes way onto cobbles as she joins lookalike Coronation Street siblings

Meanwhile, in Corrie, Colson's character received some shocking news last week. Fans of the ITV soap recently saw Craig and girlfriend Faye Windass, played by Ellie Leach, excitedly sharing the news they were to become parents.

However, after Faye feared she was suffering a miscarriage, she was dealt the heartbreaking news that there wasn't and baby and she was never pregnant. Then, in scenes aired last week, Faye discovered she was going through the early menopause and won't be able to have any more biological children leaving her and Craig crushed.

With lots going on for Colson, we thought we'd take a look at his off-screen life, from his incredible weight loss journey to some of the jobs he has away from the cobbles - including as a farmer.

Colson is taking part in The Games on ITV (ITV)

Starting with the latter, the soap star took a break from Corrie last year to work as a farmer. He stepped away from his acting role for a month to work on a farm with sister Hannah, who is a vet, during lambing season. Speaking on his podcast in April, he said: "April is lambing season and I've got the call up - I'm in for lambing season. I'm off work for the whole of April, so I'm going to be there lambing. It's going to be great."

After returning, he said that it was "full on" but he enjoyed it more than he thought he would have done. "I finished work and I got a call saying: 'You need to come and help out, we need some help on the farm.' I'm a top farmer. I can drive the tractor, I'm good at that kind of stuff."

That's not all the 23-year-old gets up to away from the Salford-based set. Colson is one-third of the hosting team behind podcast, Sofa Cinema Club. It's described as the "podcast film club" and listeners get to hear Colson and his Corrie co-stars and friends Jack P Shepherd and Ben Price chat each week about one film following a movie night and discuss what they loved, hated, and rated about the films.

The trio were able to have a laugh at their own expense towards the end of last year after 'coming last' at an awards bash. They were nominated for a gong at the Audio Production Awards 2021 But after the event, Colson and Jack filmed themselves in the car, telling their followers how it went.

Posting a clip to the Sofa Cinema Club Instagram page, Jack says: "Well, we've been to the awards..." Colson jumped in: "We didn't get bronze did we?" to which Jack replied: "No, we didn't get bronze."

"We didn't get silver so we're thinking..." Colson said before Jack interjected: "Gold." Colson added: "Then we didn't get gold," before the pair burst out laughing. "We came last," Jack repeatedly said before adding: "Amazing."

(Colson J Smith Instagram)

The soap trio are a close bunch with Colson having lived with both Jack and Ben. While living together, Jack admitted it was a "challenge", explaining: "I have to teach him about life and things, and I do his washing. He's like my little project - my nickname is 'Dad'."

But soon Jack, who is famed for playing Corrie's David Platt, ended up ditching Colson to move in with his new girlfriend in June 2019, leaving the young actor to find a new flatmate. Fortunately, one was right under his nose and he moved in with Ben, who plays Jack's on-screen brother Nick Tilsely

"It's a little bit like the changing of the guard, the colour of troop or whatever it's called,” Colson said on the Sofa Cinema Club podcast at the time. Jack replied: "I've handed over the baton. I'm saying, 'I've had that for a year, you deal with that.' I've moved in with my girlfriend, thankfully." Ben then explained: "It was like, 'The lease is up, you're having him.'"

Colson has also previously described Ben as a "second father" and praised his colleague for supporting him through his weight loss journey. He made the comment last spring as he released a short film on his journey, shedding an undisclosed amount of weight.

Colson has reportedly lost 10 stone (Colson J Smith Instagram)

Speaking to press including the Manchester Evening News, Colson said: "Ben is like my flat mate and second father. "For the year of 2020 I felt really bad for Ben because we used to joke about how he needed another fridge in the flat because I was getting all my food prepared."

He explained: "Ben was so supportive. Because I started on a bit of a diet and a bit of a plan, it's incredibly selfish. It's a selfish way to live your life and Ben is the person I spend the most time with out of anyone.

"When I was telling him about telling my truth in my way... I am not doing a fancy piece for a magazine, [He said] 'I know I can't write a book because I can't spell but I think I can make a film about it, what do you think? and Ben said yeah."

He documented his battles with his weight as part of his own film 'Bored Of Being The Fat Kid’, which was released on YouTube, and, back in January, Colson, who has never revealed the amount of weight he has lost but it is reported to be 10 stone, celebrated a personal achievement as he told fans he had been a runner for two years.

Colson during his early Corrie days in 2011 (Colson J Smith Instagram)

Colson, who would drink around five pints of fizzy drinks a day before his epic weight loss, has also previously addressed why he has chosen to take on the physical challenge of ITV's The Games now after shedding a lot of weight.

He has previously said he weighed 140kg before he discovered a love for running, with him now regularly documenting his runs and gym visits on social media. "I'm doing this because obviously two years ago I was a very different person, and now, weirdly, my hobbies are fitness," he said on the podcast.

"I generally enjoy keeping fit and challenging myself. And this is a challenge, it's a way to keep fit. There's a part of me in my head where I have always had limitations on myself and always believed I couldn't do certain stuff, and I've kind of proved bits of that wrong over the past two years. So I guess taking this on is another understanding of the fact that there aren't any limitations to what I can do. I can keep progressing."

Colson made his debut on the cobbles as Craig in 2011. He recently shared how he only initially came in for just two episodes with his mum, Beth Tinker, played by Lisa Gorge. But "the audience reacted to them and they were brought back," the actor told the Metro.

Outside of Coronation Street, Colson has appeared as Adam Concus in several short films, the first being Platform2C in 2011, followed by Hollows Wood and Jailhouse Dog in 2014

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