Corrie Geoff star talks ‘upsetting’ role as he wins Best Actor and Best Villain

Coronation Street star Ian Bartholomew admitted it was "upsetting" to see his character in action, as he accepted three awards at the Inside Soap Awards this evening.

The 66-year-old actor played the dreaded Geoff Metcalfe, who slowly and cruelly subjected his wife Yasmeen Nazir (Shelley King) to physical and psychological abuse over the course of a year.

A classic villain, not since the serial killer Richard Hillman, who was played by Brian Capron in the early noughties, has there been a character so detested by Coronation Street fans.

It seemed Geoff had met his fate earlier this year when Yasmeen slashed him in the neck in an act of self-defence, only to be sent behind bars.

Insisting Yasmeen was unhinged as she faced her trial, Geoff's campaign of evil continued, as he tried to turn her friends and neighbours against her.

Honouring his dark role on the soap, actor Ian was awarded the dongs for the Best Actor, Best Villain, and Best Show-Stopper, trumping rival soaps Emmerdale and EastEnders.

Accepting his awards, Ian reflected on the traumatising scenes of domestic abuse that had aired, saying: "For me, witnessing Shelley crumbling as Yasmeen, and watching this character that I was playing destroy her in front of me was actually really quite upsetting."

As the abuse progressed, Geoff would lock Yasmeen in the house, forced her to eat her beloved pet chicken, and slept with escorts behind her back.

Ian continued: "I felt bad doing all those things, but we both wanted to do it as well and as truthfully as we could."

The soap star, who joined the cast of Coronation Street two years ago, also touched on the public's reaction to the hard-hitting storyline, recalling the cast of Gogglebox's response to his scenes.

He said: "I did see the episode of Gogglebox where they watched it – they were all delighted that Geoff got some kind of comeback!"

Ian's co-star Shelley also got a mention at the star-studded ceremony, receiving the gong for the Best Show-Stopper as a tribute to the moment Yasmeen stabbed Geoff in the neck.

Pleased by the public's response to the scene, the 65-year-old actress said: "People were shouting at me from their cars, going, ‘Yeah, good on ya, Yas!' It was lovely."

Coronation Street was the second most successful soap of the ceremony, swooping up four awards at the first-ever Inside Soap virtual event.

However, EastEnders managed to trump the ITV soap by a small margin, scooping up five trophies over the course of the evening.

  • Coronation Street

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