Coronation Street star Alex Bain reflects on violent Simon Barlow story

“Very sad but very believable.”

Before leaving Coronation Street, Alex Bain has reflected on one of the most violent episodes involving his character Simon Barlow.

Even though the character is leaving to board his father Peter Barlow’s boat, Simon’s journey didn’t always appear like it would end happily.

In a problem-based plot that debuted in 2015, little Simon began violently abusing his mother Leanne Battersby on Coronation Street.

“The biggest one for me really and the one that had the most impact was the domestic violence storyline with Simon physically abusing his mum,” Alex recalled, thinking back on that plot. Working with Jane on that was amazing, and I was happy to bring attention to a topic not many people discuss.

“However, it happens more often than you may imagine, and even others I know have told me they have experienced the same thing. Although the plot was challenging to work on, I am rather happy with the results. Because Simon had experienced so much in his life, he had lost his direction, which is how it showed up. so realistic and depressing.”


The actor continued, saying, “There was also the plot of Simon being teased. That one struck a deep chord with me since I could relate to Simon’s experience having been bullied as a child. As a youth and a ballet dancer, I saw firsthand how cruel and innocent children can be.

Being able to include my personal bullying experience into the plot was amazing for me as a victim of bullying. I acted out a scenario in the Bistro when Simon was clothed and had makeup applied all over his face, and I was able to feel the emotions that Simon had because I understood his feelings.”

A few years later, the evil Harvey Gaskell lured Simon and his mother Leanne into the county lines drug trade, which resulted in Natasha Blakeman’s untimely murder.

“The county lines drug storyline was another one that was important to tell and again it was easy to see how Simon could find himself caught up in that,” Alex said. “He was looking for his tribe, he wanted to belong but he ended up in an awful situation that put people in real danger.”


As a member of Coronation Street for the previous 16 years, Alex has had the opportunity to learn from some of the most renowned soap performers along the road.

“[I’ve learned from] Chris [Gascoyne], Jane [Danson] and definitely Bill [Roache], to see someone of his age coming to set every day and still be on top of his game is awesome,” he said. “It’s true that working with grownups on a daily basis from a young age helped me learn a lot and grow up rapidly. I could name many individuals who have influenced my life, including directors, crew members, and actors in addition to actors.”

After departing the show, the actor acknowledged that he was able to take the most identifiable item from Simon’s wardrobe with him.


“I have got his fake leather jacket, I was determined to keep that,” Alex said. “I will keep it in there because it makes me smile, even though the label inside says ‘Simon.'” In my dressing room, I have also removed Simon’s name tag from the mirror.

And because it’s the only belt that’s ever fit me correctly without requiring me to drill additional holes, I’ve taken it. I still have his jacket, belt, and name on the mirror in addition to many wonderful memories.”

Alex chose this critical juncture in his career to think back on his 2008 6-year-old debut on Coronation Street.

“I was only 6 when I started but I remember doing the scene with Chris where we are getting out of the taxi and he says ‘Let’s go in and give them the shock of their lives’,” he said. “Tired was my first word. You don’t understand at that age the magnitude of what it means to be a member of the family that was featured in the 1960 premiere of one of the longest-running television programmes in the world.


Naturally, when I grew older, I learned to value it, and I also had the honour of working with some wonderful performers. I still remember my first scene with Anne Kirkbride. She was really helpful and nice, and she told me, “You will go far,” after the scene was over. That has stuck with me forever.”

“When I was little, my mum and dad took me to do some professional photos and the photographer asked if it would be okay to give my details to an agent as he thought I would be good as a child model,” Alex reminisced about how he’d got the coveted serial job. I have been with them ever since the agent contacted me and signed me up.

“I worked in photography for a while, appeared in a few commercials (one for Rice Crispies, for example), and then costarred with Bernard Hill in Sunshine.


“I went through the audition procedure and the list kept getting less and smaller until my agency phoned and said I had received the part. My representative then contacted my mother and said there was a position for a youngster my age in Coronation Street. Coming from a working-class background in the North, it was a significant event for my parents. Now, you are putting your kid to work with Ken Barlow!”

Next week, Simon Barlow’s farewell scenes will premiere.

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