CORONATION Street star Will Mellor has revealed his late jailbird dad Bill would hit him so hard he’d cry and pass out.
But the former Hollyoaks and Two Pints of Lager actor was “glad” Bill physically disciplined him because he says it saved him from a life of crime.
Will, 44, spoke candidly about his upbringing on a rough estate in Stockport on the podcast Sixteen Summers, which asks celebrities, ‘if you had to choose between your childhood and the one you’re giving your kids, which would you pick?”
He said: “There was a time when if I was upset, I’d hold my breath and literally pass out. It was horrible because I’d come round and my dad would give me a crack for passing out.
“I don’t know how old I was, but I have memories of it, because I’d panic my dad. My dad thought I was having a paddy, so he’d give me a crack for doing it and then I’d pass out and when I woke up he’d crack me for passing out.
“So that was quite scary at times just waking up and getting another crack around the ear.”
Will added that at times he was “terrified” of his dad’s temper, but their father and son bond was strong and they grew up to be inseparable.
He added: “The way he disciplined me as a kid I wouldn’t do that to my son.
“But different times call for different measures, he was struggling. He was in prison when I was very young. We grew up on a council estate, we were poor but loved and we didn’t feel poor as kids.
“His dad was horrendous. So as I see it he was an improvement. I knew his shortcomings weren’t his fault. And he loved us. He didn’t really know how to show it a lot of the times; he never really hugged us that much. If he give me a crack for something he’d come up and say sorry at the end of the night and I could sleep after that.”
And he insisted that Bill, who served 18 months for handling stolen goods, “saved him” from falling in with the wrong crowd and turning to a life of crime.
He went on: “It’s just as a kid he wanted me to have that fear so that when I wasn’t with him, I didn’t go down the route of drugs and drink and all that nonsense.
“And in our area he was terrified of me growing up in an area where it was rough. He thought the best thing he could do was teach me to fight.
“I was I the boxing ring at 7 years old. I boxed a number of years until I was acting.”
Will, who plays menacing drug lord Harvey in Corrie, continued: “I’m glad he’s done what he’s done.
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“I would never do that to my kids, it’s a different era, but I believe I’m a good person. He’s not made me a bad person. Having a bit of fear about being told off or having a crack off your dad wasn’t a bad thing in those days.”
Sixteen Summers is TV presenter Kirsten O’Brien’s new podcast in which she asks celebrities: if you had to choose between your childhood and the one you’re giving your kids, which would you pick?
Upcoming interviewees include Jason Manford, Melinda Messenger and Steve Backshall.
Find it on Apple and wherever you get your podcasts.