The Christine Smith Interview: Chris Bisson - I Caught Natalie Imbruglia Staring.Then It Hit Me She Was Thinking 'Who's That Drunk?' CORRIE'S CHRIS BISSON ON WILD NIGHTS AND DREAM GIRLS

The Mirror (London, England), April 13, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Christine Smith Interview: Chris Bisson - I Caught Natalie Imbruglia Staring.Then It Hit Me She Was Thinking 'Who's That Drunk?' CORRIE'S CHRIS BISSON ON WILD NIGHTS AND DREAM GIRLS


Byline: Christine Smith

SOAP stardom. Many a young actor's dream. Making the grade in the nation's most popular TV serials can earn you fame, fortune and the kind of long-term security few thespians achieve.

But there is a downside.

Just ask Coronation Street's Chris Bisson, whose on-screen character Vikram Desai is at the centre of the show's hottest storyline.

Millions of viewers are gripped by the amorous antics of "Dirty Desai", who has embarked on a clandestine affair with one of his taxi firm's customers, an older married woman, Hazel.

Surely this is the kind of drama performers dream of. Well, yes... to an extent.

While he's enjoying the Street no end, 26-year-old Chris is dismayed at the off-screen results of playing a rotten love rat - he is the number one hate figure among Britain's taxi drivers.

He screws up his handsome features, leans across our lunch table at Manchester's fashionable Lincoln Inn restaurant and - with genuine astonishment - tells me: "It's unbelievable. Cab drivers keep telling me I have made their lives difficult and complicated.

"Their wives are worried they're knocking off another woman too."

And has acting out such scenes of illicit passion made Chris want to "knock off" a married woman in real life?

"No way," he says with conviction, "Vik is foolish and moody, where I hope I am not.

"The great thing about acting is you get to do all the things you would never do in real life. I will never have an affair with a married woman. I mean it."

Pause. "I've just jinxed myself, haven't I?" he declares, "I'm gutted. I should never have said that."

I'm afraid I can't offer the guy too much sympathy. This mess is all his own fault.

Chris, who joined Corrie in January 1999, explains his steamy storyline emerged after he gave ITV bosses an ultimatum: make my character more interesting or I'll quit.

"Vikram was boring me to tears," he says. "He wasn't opinionated and he didn't really fit into the Street.

"I planned to leave. But the scriptwriters came up with this idea and it has been great."

But surely Chris thinks he is lucky, having survived the recent "soap blood bath" which has seen a succession of brutal axings.

He nods. "The cast was too big," he says, "There were so many characters that sometimes you wouldn't be working for five weeks, which can be frustrating.

"Inevitably there were going to be changes. And I understood this."

So he is safe? Can he stay at Corrie as long as he wants now? "Yes, I am signed up until the end of this year," he reveals.

"Morale has wobbled. Where people's livelihoods are at stake, it is bound to.

"But everyone has looked after each other and it is bouncing back."

On Chris' request, we are sitting as far away as possible from the window to avoid the stares of passers-by. He owns at least 10 baseball caps to help disguise himself.

Today he has forgotten to bring one along. And he is not exactly cheaply dressed.

"I am wearing a Nigel Hall jumper, Valentino jeans and Nicole Farhi boots," says a man who evidently loves his labels.

"All these trappings come with the job," he chuckles.

Self-confessed Man United fanatic Chris lives alone in a converted barn just outside Manchester, drives a flash car and loves hanging out with his mates. He goes to lots of parties.

"They call me 'the Corrie ambassador'," he says. "Because I go to events, project a good image and talk to the right people.

"But when everyone has gone I get drunk in the bar!"

I inform Chris he comes across as a typical lad. He agrees. "I am only 26 and I haven't hadn't had a serious girlfriend for nearly a year," he says. "I don't mind."

"Well sometimes I do," he says on reflection. "The grass is always greener, isn't it?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Christine Smith Interview: Chris Bisson - I Caught Natalie Imbruglia Staring.Then It Hit Me She Was Thinking 'Who's That Drunk?' CORRIE'S CHRIS BISSON ON WILD NIGHTS AND DREAM GIRLS
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?