Coronation Street star drops stardom on soap opera for making award-winning cheese
Sean Wilson swapped cobblestones for cheese
You recognize it right away, of course. Sean Wilson played coronation street‘s Martin Platt for twenty years, when the ITV soap opera was at its peak. “Even my own father called me Martin!” laughs Sean, 57, who swapped cobbles for cookbooks and artisan cheese in the 2000s.
He had a good run as the long-suffering husband of Gail, a woman rarely separated from her own personal rain cloud.
“Helen Worth is a lovely woman, but I don’t know if the public ever liked Gail,” Sean tells me with a broad smile. “I used to think, ‘How did you last so long with her?’ So Helen did a great job.
Martin was also the lover of Sally Webster, not to mention nurse Rebecca Hopkins and, controversially in 2005, teenager Katy Harris, played by Lucy-Jo Hudson.
This memory still hurts.
“She was sixteen, Martin was 37 and the producers said they wanted it to go further. I said, ‘I’m not happy about that. Why do it to me? I gave you my heart and soul and that’s what I get back?’
“I thought it was time to grab my coat and go, so my future was in my hands.”
Flat ? Splat.
Gail (Helen Worth) and Martin
As a teenager in Ashton-under-Lyne, Sean was rarely home.
“I was always up early in the morning, I was up and going out,” he recalls. “I did a round of milk and worked at the local market, at a fruit and vegetable stall to start.
“I played football, I captained football teams, I attended swimming galas…”
He was more “out, out” than Micky Flanagan. For what?
“I was the eldest child and had a stepfather, so life at home wasn’t as good as it should be. I spent a lot of time away from home. »
He shrugs his shoulders and adds, “But that’s life. You weren’t born in a fairy tale.
His comprehensive school opened doors for him.
“I had a great drama teacher, Brian Johnson, an ex-actor who knew how to get city kids into the creative arts. In my O-level year, we did auditions using texts contemporaries in the school theater. I had to do Peter Nichols A day in the life of Joe Egg and a soliloquy by Ben Jonson from Edward Bond bingo.
“I remember waiting for a reaction. There were none. I couldn’t see past the lights. Eventually the main lights came on, Mr Johnson came over, put his arm around me and said, ‘We need to talk, it’s a grown life for you’…”
Mark Revell and Sean Wilson of Saddleworth Cheese Co.
Wilson left school at 16 with O Level drama and early A Level art. He took a drama course at the University of Oldham with Sarah “Raquel Watts” Lancashire and Tony Marshal (later Life on Mars fame).
“They told me the Oldham Theater workshop was the place to be, so I joined and did four to five shows, including a musical written by Gary Hargreaves, Sarah’s first husband. ”
Unbeknownst to him, the casting producers at Granada TV were keenly interested. Sean was cast in a 1984 edition of The royal court and TV movie traveler man.
In 1985, he landed coronation street.
“I had no idea I was being vetted for Corrie, it was so exciting. I loved growing up.”
Falling in love with the widow Gail was his first big storyline.
“The producer called me into the office and gave me the script. It said, ‘Martin kisses Gail’ – that’s how I found out, that was the start of our relationship. When we filmed it, they changed all the TV monitors and screens in Granada to prevent the story from leaking to the press.
Opening day of Food and Drink Festival in Stanley Park Liverpool
Fame came overnight even though sometimes people forgot why they knew him.
“I would be in a supermarket and people in front of you would look and look disgusted – because you’re not talking to them. They assume they know you from working at the same factory, which of course they don’t, so why don’t you talk to them?
“It was such a godsend because my home life wasn’t the best. Now I could afford to have my own house.
Filming the soap opera was hard work, so naturally, the cast let off steam.
“ITV moved us to rabbit hutch locker rooms; a group of us were hanging around doing nothing, and shenanigans ensued…”
Singer Paul Jones of Manfred Mann was to present a live television music show. “We attached it just before it aired. It was not my idea! It was Anne Kirkbride (Deidre Barlow) who had the rope… We tied him up and left him alone in a room.
“He was always so cool about it. He couldn’t have come out himself, he wasn’t Houdini. Someone must have been sent to find him…”
For the 1989 Royal Command Performance, Sean arrived at the hotel bar only to be turned away by the producer who said, “I think you’ll see I’m the first.
reminds Sean. “He says to me, ‘I’m going to put all my drinks on your bill’, but I saw his key, room 303, so we decide to put all our drinks on his bill instead.
“Barbara Knox (Rita Tanner) signed Mickey Mouse, Lynne Perrie (Ivy Tilsley) too, we all did. He went crazy!”
Sean and his new book
Sean left the soap in September 2005, after taking “a moral stance” on Katy Hudson’s story.
“I left and they decided David would go off the rails and Jack Shepherd is very good at playing on the rails…”
Sean, who briefly returned to Weatherfield in 2018, has been taking things cheesy ever since…
“I was a great cook,” he explains. “I loved to relax while cooking and I knew a few chefs who encouraged me” – including Nigel Haworth, who ran the Michelin-starred Northcote Manor in the Ribble Valley and invited him to work with his team.
There Wilson met Bob Kitching, whose dairy was the only one to hand-produce Lancashire cheese. “He wanted to teach someone his skills, and with my passion for food and food science, I fit the bill.”
Sean Wilson walks in
After 18 months of experimenting and “mithering” Bob over the phone, Sean created his first cheese and won gold at the World Cheese Awards.
He’s developed a selection of Lancashire cheeses that sound like they’ll come down a storm in Rover’s – blue-veined Smelly Ha’peth, How’s Your Father (a creamy), Muldoon’s Picnic (a crumbly) and Mouth Almighty (a savory ) .
In 2011, Smelly Ha’peth also won gold by beating Gorgonzola. He had traded a good life for a life of gouda. But it’s been hard cheese for the company recently.
“The price of milk has more than doubled, distribution costs too, so I’ve given up on cottage cheeses a bit,” he admits.
“It’s tough. I was at Tesco and Asda but now they are doing their own brands.
Sean Wilson and Marika Humpherys after being rejected from Dancing On Ice
In 2012, Sean published The Great Northern Cookbook, “the antidote to McDonald’s”, which spawned a Channel 5 TV series in 2013. He recently released cheese-themed Cheddar Gorge and is completely dedicated to his business, Artisan Farm. He is currently writing a second cookbook.
Sean, divorced and father of two adult children, lives on the “Leicestershire/Warwickshire borders” with his girlfriend Carol.
He lets off steam playing the guitar. “I worked on the blues scales this morning. It will be the jazz scales next. I’m looking to start a band.
His tastes range from the late Gary Moore and BB King to jazz singer Melody Gardot to Miles Davies and the Beatles.
“I’ve always loved music, food, my artwork and my poetry… I’m a culture lover”.
He does occasional TV shows, including Waterloo Road And Dancing on the icebut prefers theatrical work.
“I’m typecast as an actor because of Corrie. I’ve done theatrical tours. But you can’t live on them. You end up spending all the money on digs and trips.
He and Carol are also avid scouts.
‘On a weekend in Lincolnshire I found a Roman coin from 276 AD, Emperor Antony, then a hammered Elizabethan coin from the early 1600s. I don’t know how much that worth. I don’t want to sell it.
He pauses. “I had a pretty weird time. But I’m comfortable, I’m happy. I have a very good cultured life.
*Gorged Cheddar by Sean Wilson (Great Northern Books, £19.99) is available now.
Source of data and images:daily-express