Coronation Street’s Simon star confirms ‘incredibly emotional’ exit as last scene features hidden personal link

And his ‘last scene’ wasn’t actually his last in the ITV soap

Simon Barlow, played by Alex Bain, in Coronation Street (Image: ITV)

As his last scenes prepare to broadcast, Coronation Street actor Alex Bain has spoken out about his “incredibly emotional” retirement from the show. 16 years after stepping foot on the cobbles as six-year-old Simon Barlow, the actor bids adieu to the ITV soap opera.

The adorable child with curly hair has matured before the eyes of the public, and Simon has experienced enough of drama while he has lived in Weatherfield. After his mother died and he ended himself on the streets, he endured horrific bullying as a young boy.

He was at the core of a contentious domestic violence narrative in which Simon began assaulting his stepmother, Leanne Battersby, violently. Along with dealing with his father’s alcoholism and his false incarceration for Tina McIntyre’s murder, the character had to deal with joining a county lines drug gang as a teenager. More recently, when his father left Weatherfield, Simon injured Sam Bateman in an automobile accident and entered a guilty plea to drunk driving.

Prior to being cast in the role, Alex starred in an advertisement for Rice Krispies in the television drama Sunshine. Because of the positive reviews he has received for his performance as Simon, he has been nominated five times for the British Soap Awards’ Best Young Actor category, winning the title in 2011.

Alex has spoken about what it was like to go onto the renowned set for the very last time, ahead of his farewell scenes being shown to Corrie fans.”It was understandably very emotional because it has played such a significant role in my life,” he said. “Since we filmed out of order, the last scene I filmed wasn’t Simon’s final appearance in the show; instead, he was saying goodbye to Carla Connor in Roy’s Rolls.”

“After my parents, Paul and Debra, arrived to see the scene, the director graciously proposed that they serve as background performers in the café. How strange it was that I was talking to Carla about Simon’s parents while my own parents were enjoying coffee at a table behind me!

The 22-year-old went on, “It was very meaningful for both of us. It was a significant occasion for all of us that my mother, who served as my chaperone when I first began, and my dad, who has been my constant support, appear in one of my last scenes.

Simon bids Leanne farewell in the ITV soap opera (Photo: ITV)

Alex has revealed how he got the job on Simon, and he can remember some of his first day on set when he was shooting a sequence with his on-screen father Chris Gascoyne, who portrayed Peter Barlow in the show till the end of last year.

He clarified, saying, “When I was younger, my parents brought me for some professional pictures. The photographer believed I would make a fantastic child model, so he asked if it would be okay to submit my data to an agency. 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 shorter and shorter 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 family in the North, it was a significant event for my parents. Now, you are putting your kid to work with Ken Barlow!”

Alex went on to express his feelings about his time on Corrie coming to an end, saying, “Yeah, the show has been the foundation of my life, but I’m 22 now, so maybe it’s time to see what the future holds. I felt very positive about it.” You become a member of a family there; they are folks I will always be in my life. It’s not simply a job.

Alex with Chris Gascoigne when he joined the ITV soap (Image: ITV)

“They are buddies, not just coworkers. Of course, saying goodbye to folks makes everyone leaving unhappy, but that grief only makes up a tiny portion of the experience. That does not lessen the thrill and expectation, however. After Chris left, it seemed right that Simon should follow in his father’s footsteps since he had gone through a lot and was alone without him. I can have new experiences of my own now that Simon is off on his own.

Alex verified that April will mark his departure from the Salford-based set. In the last image he posted from his Corrie dressing room, he was seen wearing a bright red Dryrobe coat, one of the show’s trademark items for keeping cast and crew warm while shooting outdoors on the well-known street.

“That concludes Simon Barlow’s talk for everyone! I’m grateful to everyone at Coronation Street for the most amazing fifteen years of my life. Alex used emoticons of a face holding back tears and a string of hearts to write. “PS: I’m going to miss this coat seriously,” he continued.

“It may be cloudy skies, but I love this place so much,” Alex said as he took one final glance at the studio with the massive Coronation Street sign over the wall. I cherish my Corrie family, you all.”

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