IT took a day for Nick Cochrane to find fame and fortune on Britain’s best-loved soap opera.
Nick was still at school when he made his first appearance on the cobbles as Coronation Street’s ‘Jack the Lad’ Andy McDonald — and he admits: “It changed my life in a few hours.”
He added: “Looking back, I didn’t have a clue how big Corrie was or what I was getting myself into.
“I was 15, sat in a classroom doing English and maths, and the next minute I was picked from an audition of 250 kids and suddenly I was a TV star living the dream.”
Nick will roll back the years when he teams up with Charlie Lawson, who played Jim McDonald, at Colne Muni on Thursday where they will be sharing stories of their time on the nation’s most popular street.
“My first appearance was the episode when Alan Bradley was hit by a tram on Blackpool sea front,” said Nick.
“I was told 21 million people tuned in to watch that episode, and that’s just mind-boggling for a TV show.
“I went out shopping afterwards and people were stopping for me autographs, and they just wanted to talk about Coronation Street and this mad new life I was living.
“It was a huge thing at that age, and it was quite difficult to handle at times.
“My life went bonkers for 10 years —- but I had an absolute ball on Corrie.’’ Cochrane enjoyed a decade of fame as Steve McDonald’s twin brother until his character moved to Spain to work as an English teacher.
“I’ve gone back a few times, when there’s a wedding and a funeral, and I do miss the Street a lot — it was a wonderful life with a great deal of camaraderie and friendship,’’ added Nick.
“Andy was a good part to play. He was a bit of a devil and a little bit of a rogue.
“They asked me to go back last year for one of the Christmas episodes, but I’d signed a contract to play in a pantomine.
“We’ve just come back from doing the talk show in Canada and hundreds of people, some dressed as the Coronation Street characters, turned up every night to see us.
“Everywhere you go in the world there is a great love for Coronation Street and those amazing characters.’’ Cochrane gives credit to to the show’s strong female characters, along with the powerful storylines, for the longevity and continued popularity of the show.
“Coronation Street is based on strong Northern women, Ena Sharples, Annie Walker and Bet Lynch. That’s what it is about really.
“The men are generally weak, henpecked characters, like Les Battersby.
“The writers continually write some good stuff and base it all around some sharp humour as well.
“The Street has changed, but I don’t think it has ever lost its edge in terms of how it reflects every day life.’’ Tales From The Street, Colne Muni, Thursday, November 15. Details from 01282 661234 .