Coronation Street star Charlie Condou has told how an emotional hug from his four year old daughter brought about his decision to quit the soap.
The actor has to spend a lot of time away from his partner Cameron and their two young children – who are based in London – whilst filming the ITV serial in Manchester.
In an interview with The Mirror, Condou says he realised the situation was untenable when his daughter Georgia threw her arms around him and said, sadly “Daddy, I don’t want you to go away.” He adds:
It was just getting too difficult. Georgia is at an age now where she was saying, ‘How long are you away for this week?’ and ‘When are you going to be back Daddy?’
At my busiest I was getting home late on a Friday night and going back to Manchester on Sunday afternoon. I just wasn’t getting that time with my kids.
Condou joined Coronation Street in 2007 as Marcus Dent, the boyfriend of established character Sean Tully (Antony Cotton). He chose to depart the show in 2008 before being lured back to the cobbles in 2011.
In a surprise storyline twist, Marcus fell for dippy hairdresser Maria Connor (Samia Ghadie) in 2012. However, despite now being in a heterosexual relationship, he still sees himself as a gay man.
Todd Grimshaw (Bruno Langley) has taken a shine to Marcus and is currently trying to woo him away from Maria. The storyline is expected to lead to Marcus’s departure.
On what a post-Corrie future may hold, Condou says he would like to do more comedy and was disappointed that Corrie bosses had not devised his character as a comedic one:
One of my big disappointments was that I went into a show that’s renowned for having great comedic characters and my character wasn’t one of them.
I’d like to do a bit more comedy now. I used to do a lot. I did a few series of Armstrong and Miller and then Nathan Barley for Channel 4 and I’d like to do more.
The actor also spoke about his private life and how he had always wanted to be a father. He finally got the chance when his friend Catherine agreed to act as a surrogate mum through IVF treatment. Their children spend half their time with Charlie and Cameron and the other half with their mum.
Condou describes the set up as a “very happy one” and adds:
A lot of people would argue that it’s best for a child to grow up in a house with one mum and one dad, although there’s no evidence to suggest that’s the case.
The full interview can be read here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/corries-charlie-condue-trials-challenges-3147079
Coronation Street, Monday (7.30 and 8.30pm), Wednesday (7.30pm) and Friday (7.30 and 8.30pm), on ITV, STV and UTV.