I was thrilled when Darran agreed to be our first featured Background Supporting Artiste, because I have met him before, on the cobbles when visiting the studios. I found him to be a nice friendly guy, but didn't have a lot of time to speak to him that day, so was glad to have the opportunity to throw a few questions his way, and find out more about him and his job.
Don't miss the photos of Darran on the job below the interview.
1. How old are you? Nifty at Fifty next year, I’m a valentines baby born on 14th February!
2. Are you married? Married to my lovely wife Eileen for 5 years, I actually proposed to Eileen at the Top of World Restaurant in the CN Tower Toronto in September 2005, we were in Canada attending one of the famous “Corrie Pings” that Canadian Corrie Fan Deborah Cyr organises regularly, they are brilliant fun and so well organised.
3. How long have you worked on Coronation Street? 21 years.
4. Do you have a specific job there, or do you work in a variety of roles? I am mainly a regular background Supporting Artiste (official fancy name for the Extras) appearing in the Rovers, Roys Rolls, Nick’s Bistro or walking the famous cobbles of the street, however, on the rare occasion when a storyline requires the use of the Milkman I am the person who plays this part, you might spot me driving the Milk Float and delivering a few pints of milk to the famous residents of the houses on the Street.
5. What other shows have you worked on? 10-15 years ago I also appeared on Emmerdale, Bands of Gold, Cold Feet.
6. What do you like the best about your job? Walking through the famous Turnstile Gate at the Entrance to the Studios on Atherton Street Manchester, I always think to myself how many millions of people would like to do this and what a very lucky chap I am to be entering the set of the most famous Street on television in the world.
7. What do you like the least? Because of the very busy filming schedule that Corrie has it is sometimes necessary to do film shoots until 3am or 4am in the morning, these can be very tiring and certainly not my favourite part of the job, albeit a very necessary part.
8. For the most part, are the main cast friendly towards you? All the main cast, crew and fellow supporting artistes at Corrie are great, it’s like being part of one big family and all with one aim, to put together a great serial drama on the tv screens for the millions of Corrie fans around the world to enjoy!
9. Do you ever get recognised by fans? All the time, I can be in a supermarket, shopping centre or pub and someone will always say “Hi, I saw you the other night on Corrie”. Also, whilst my wife Eileen and I were on holiday on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife we were in a Restaurant when one of the Diners approached my wife whilst I was away from the table and said to her “could you please settle an argument between me and my wife, she says that she has seen your husband in the Rovers Return on Coronation Street, that can’t be true, can it?”!
10. Are you looking forward to moving to the new studios? Yes and No, the new studios and set will be fantastically modern giving great opportunities for the fantastic, dramatic and exciting storylines to be excelled upon for many years going forward, however, leaving the current studios will be a very sad day indeed, there’s been a lot of history made there and a lot of happy memories are sealed forever in the infrastructure of it.
11. Which set is the most likely one to spot you in? The easiest set to spot me in is without doubt the Rovers Return, enjoying a good pint of Newton & Ridleys!
12. What is your ultimate ambition? Where do you see yourself five years from now? At Corrie it’s just a privilege to be one of the regular supporting artistes and I would be delighted if I was still doing this in 5 years time, being in the show for over 20 years I have seen many main character actors come and go, so for me to still be playing a supporting artiste roles for so many years is enough ambition to hold on to.
13. Do you have any funny stories to tell us about things that have happened while working on the Street? At the filming of Les Battersby’s & Cilla’s wedding reception a picture was taken of myself and fellow Extra Chris Shepherd dressed in Comic Outfits, the picture was framed and placed on the wall of the nightclub where the wedding reception was held when Status Quo also appeared, the picture is included here for you to see.
14. We won't ask, but do you get people asking you for spoilers all the time? Would you lose your job if you gave away a storyline in advance? I am always asked what the future storylines are, and of course I would never divulge these details to anyone as it would only spoil the forthcoming storylines for them, and yes my job as a supporting artiste would come to an abrupt end if I did divulge anything!
15. What is the most exciting episode you have ever appeared in? The most exciting episode was appearing in the famous Tram Crash live 50th episode on the 9th December 2010, I appeared briefly as a Doctor standing outside the maternity ward delivery room shortly after Fiz Stape gave birth to baby Hope, we spent 5 full days doing reheresals for that 1 hour episode, and it was still totally nerve racking when the cameras rolled at 8pm on that Thursday night!
16. Have you appeared in any other memorable episodes? I appeared in the fantastic Richard Hillman storyline - When Richard left the Rovers to commit his dastardly deed to Emily and Maxine he walked past me in the Rovers and then sneaked out to commit his crimes!
17. Do you hold any exciting Corrie memorabilia? I have a copy of the “Weatherfield Gazette” issued for the Tram Crash live 50th episode, it is signed by William Roache, Sue Nichols, David Neilson, Keith Duffy, Craig Charles, Julia Haworth and Iain Puleston-Davies. Photograph of the paper is attached.
18. What’s the most annoying question you get asked about being on Corrie? One regular question that people ask is “How much do you get paid”, this is so annoying as I would never dream of asking anybody what their salary details are, so why do people think it is ok to ask how much I get paid as a Corrie Extra.
Then I definitely won't ask that one then! Thank you very much Darran, we will watch out for you on the cobbles!
Darran's Photo Gallery
Darran with fellow Extra Chris Shepherd on the set of Les & Cilla's wedding.
Just like that! :-)
Souvenir of the tram crash, signed by many of the cast.
Putting up a For Sale sign at Baldwin's in March 2007
Drinking a pint behind the backs of Liz and Deirdre in The Rovers
With another pint in his hand behind Audrey Roberts and Bill Webster
Here he is again with fellow Extra, Eileen (who also happens to be his wife), filling in the background behind Peter Barlow
The day that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the studios. Darran was in the background while she pulled a pint for Jason.
And the scene falls apart, with everyone breaking into the giggles, but Darran and the other extras in the background carry on professionally.
A souvenir photograph of the visit by the iconic Norman Wisdom in May 2004, showing a gathering of both cast and crew. Looks like a good time was had by all.