As a one time popular cast member of a popular soap opera, Nick Cochrane is obviously the headline name in this year’s Deco Panto.
And though it is 17 years since he was a Coronation Street regular, the Beauty And The Beast star still loves chatting about his time on ‘Corrie’.
Nick - who turns 42 during the run of Beauty And The Beast at The Deco Theatre in Northampton, unil Tuesday December 29 - played one of the McDonald twins for just short of ten years.
He still makes the occasional return as Andy McDonaldas and when a story line is relevant.
His TV twin – Steve McDonald, played by actor Simon Gregson – still features as a central character in the long running programme, but Nick has no regrets that his time as a Corrie regular ended in 1998.
“I had a fantastic time on Corrie, it was a wonderful experience, and I feel privileged to have been in the programme in the 1990s when there were some phenomenal actors, programme characters, and storylines that made us a ‘must watch’ to millions of viewers,” said Nick, who will be appearing in theatre at Northampton for the first time when he treads the boards in Beauty And The Beast.
“I loved every minute of it, I made so many friends, and it has opened many proverbial doors for me over the years, so I have much to be grateful for.”
And despite the passing of time, Nick still gets stopped regularly by fans of the show, who want to talk to him about life on one of the nation’s most famous TV streets.
“I find it very flattering that people still remember me for it,” he says. “To be totally honest, if I’d never done Corrie and met someone who had, then I’d be the first to say ‘I remember you...’, simply because I love the programme, and really feel I know the characters.”
Nick is a Manchester lad and proud of it, and was a local schoolboy when he successfully auditioned for his part in Coronation Street, which is filmed in his home city. He still lives there, and is a proud Manchester United fan and season ticket holder – though he is happy to be missing a few matches during the run of Beauty And The Beast.
“I love my football, but I love panto, and I’m so excited to be working in Northampton this Christmas.
“It’s a great script, there’s a terrific cast of lovely people and great entertainers, and I know that audiences are going to have as much fun watching the show as we’re going to have performing.
“We all got on famously as soon as we met up, and whenever we’ve been together since there’s never been any shortage of laughter – and that will be reflected on stage. I can’t wait.”
As well as being a regular stage performer, Nick is also now a successful businessman – “...and yes, clients do regularly engage me about Corrie, but that’s fine...” – but admits his love of acting will never diminish.
“I love the buzz of performing, and I love entertaining, so being in a panto is right up my street,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to our Panto getting underway, and I’ve loved meeting lots of people during my stays in Northampton so far.
“We’ve had so much goodwill from people during our appearances around and about the town, and it’s going to be great being part of the community.
Nick Cochrane will be appearing in Panto at The Deco from December 11 to 29.
Tickets, that start from just £10, can be bought online at www.thedeco.co.uk, in person at The Deco Theatre in Abington Square between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday, or by calling 01604 622749.