Coronation Street star Simon Gregson has opened up about his and his wife’s heartbreaking journey to becoming the family today. The actor has been married to former Hollyoaks actress Emma Gleave since 2010.
The couple share three sons – Alfie, 14, Henry, 12, and five-year-old Teddy – and they were all supporting Simon, who is famous for playing Steve McDonald in the ITV soap, as he appeared in I’m A Celebrity …Get Me Out of Here! last year where he finished runner-up to former Emmerdale star Danny Miller.
But becoming the family of five they are now hasn’t been an easy ride for Simon and Emma as she suffered 11 miscarriages with one baby, a daughter, tragically dying at 21 weeks.
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Speaking to Tim Vincent on The Likely Dads podcast, 47-year-old Simon said: “We lost 11 along the way. It was horrific. The first one was 21 weeks. When Emma lost Georgia, she was 21 weeks, and what had happened was Emma’s tubes were twisted, but Georgia stayed alive long enough to untwist the tubes which they said it was amazing how she survived all that and then went.
“But that paved the way for Alfie you see, so we always think of her as like an angel. But then we lost loads along the way. I think it’s because Emma can’t carry girls for some reason.”
After his real-life experiences, Simon faced his on-screen character going through a similar heartbreak when a Corrie storyline addressed baby loss for his character and his then partner Michelle Connor, played by Kym Marsh who had also tragically lost her son Archie moments after his birth at 21 weeks in February 2009.
“I think the worst thing was when they made it into a storyline. They didn’t know what had happened with me,” Simon said of the storyline. It was with Kym, and Kym had lost a child. So of course, you know, they asked her whether she would do the storyline and of course, she didn’t want to see – it’s a prosthetic baby and it’s amazing and it was dressed exactly the same as he was, you know, which I think is what she requested because she wanted the emotions to be real, but it was like this is a one take time.’
However, the emotional storyline inspired him to speak out about his own experience because he felt that men were never asked how they dealt with the loss. “It was awful yes, but they didn’t know so all the interviews were ‘How does she feel, how does she feel?’ and I had to interject and say ‘Do you know what, it’s not easy for the guy either.’
“And that’s when I thought I’m going to have to say something because it was really annoying me, that all the onus was on the woman and I went ‘You know we’ve lost kids.’ People wanted to know about it afterwards and we said yes we brought it to light because we think blokes should have a voice about these things, you know.”
He added: “Obviously the woman carries the baby and all this and there’s a lot more of a connection there, but you know it’s not easy for the guys either. It was a marvelous ending because we’ve got this Disney little child called Henry .”