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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

Real life of Coronation Street's Chesney Brown actor Sam Aston - large family with Corrie siblings, teenage split, lookalike son and exit fears

He's months away from celebrating 20 years on the cobbles and Sam Aston has just experienced his first Coronation Street wedding. His character, Chesney Brown, recently tied the knot with Gemma Winter in one of Weatherfield's biggest weddings.

Despite the couple - whose romance has been a series of ups and downs- being cash-strapped, with the help of the likes of Gemma's twin brother Paul Foreman and his son Joseph's grandmother Linda, the pair managed to pull off the day of their dreams.

And, it's fair to say that all eyes were on Gemma, played by Dolly-Rose Campbell, as she walked down the aisle in an impressive two-metre wide dress, with a stunning seven-metre long train complete with fairy lights, while her groom and their children wore orange ties and matching tutus.

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But the scenes will be a big turning point in Chesney's life as viewers have watched him - and the actor who plays him - grow up on screen. Sam was just 10-years-old when he was cast in the ITV soap as the son of Cilla Battersby-Brown and the half-brother of Fiz Stape.

And, in case you were wondering, he was named after 90s popstar Chesney Hawkes. 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, to now being a doting husband to Gemma.

And, while Sam may have joined Corrie in 2003, it wasn't his first acting role. The actor, now 29, made his television debut at the age of five, as an extra in Eddie Mountain - after joining the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop in Bury.

He also appeared in Where the Heart Is and The Bill before joining the ITV soap. And, just a year into his time on the cobbles, Sam picked up Best Newcomer at the National Television Awards.

And while Chesney is currently living with his new wife, their four children, his son Joseph and his mother-in-law Bernie, Sam is no stranger to big families himself, with three older brothers and five older sisters.

Sam as Chesney in 2007 during his early years on the ITV soap (ITV)

"Because I grew up in a big family, I've always been used to the chaos. I've got five sisters and three brothers so I'm used to a lot of people being around in the house, children and all sorts," he recently told the Manchester Evening News and other press.

"But with work, it's all well-structured because when we have scenes where the quads are in, we have got the chaperone, Karen, who is lovely, we've got the parents who come on set and they'll only bring them on when we do a take, so as crazy as it sounds, it's not as bedlam, I don't think, as it could be when you initially think [about] four babies on set."

One of Sam's sisters, Emily, even appeared in Corrie as Becky Palmer from 1996 to 1997, while his brother Joseph was the second actor to play Tommy Duckworth back in 2000. His other brother Thomas is also an actor and has appeared in episodes of Casualty and The Bill.

Away from his work life, Sam is married to yoga teacher, Briony. The pair said "I do" in a stunning Cheshire ceremony in May 2019. The romantic nuptials were held on Stock Farm just on the edge of Tatton Park and Sam said he was "the luckiest man alive."

Sam and his wife, Briony (Briony Aston Instagram)

Sam took to one knee and proposed in summer 2a017 in front of over 250 people at the annual charity golf dinner that he hosts with co-stars Alan and Andy Whyment at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel in Salford.

The couple have known each other since they were young and started chatting on MSN as smitten teenagers. "Briony and I met when I was about 15 or 16," Sam previously told the Mirror. "We got together, but we were very young."

Sam ended up ending the relationship, but the pair found a way back to each other years later. He added to the publication: "Three or four years later we were both helping out at the same drama workshop. Carol Godby's acting school, which is where I started as a youngster.

"I was teaching and Briony was in the room next door. I think she might have given me a funny look when I first walked in, but we soon got past that and straight away we got talking. We went for a meal that night at a country pub and that was it. We've been together ever since."

After tying the knot, the couple have gone on to welcome two children. Sam's son Sonny James arrived six weeks early on August 11, 2020, just over a year after the couple married. And it's fair to say he looks just like his dad.

Coronation Street star Sam Aston with his wife, Briony, and their two children (Briony Aston Instagram)

Then, in October 2021, Sam took to Instagram to reveal his wife was pregnant again, sharing an adorable snap of Sonny standing alongside some pumpkins with a sign. And in June 2022, Sam and Briony announced their daughter's arrival.

On her name, Daisy Josephine, Briony revealed to OK! Magazine: "Josephine is a nod to Sam’s brother Joe and my grandad Joe. Daisy is also the French name for Marguerite and my mum’s mum is called Margaret, so it was a way to have both grandparents in there."

But back to work and with his 20th anniversary fast approaching, Sam, who was originally signed on a six month contract, has addressed his future on the cobbles - and how he still fears his character could be axed.

"I worry about it every year, 100%," he told the Mirror, as Corrie cast members contrast come up for renewal every 12 months. "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 forever’ 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."

But his two decades' worth of service to the soap means 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..." he told the Manchester Evening News and other press.

"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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