Billy Mayhew has been Weatherfield’s very own vicar for eight years now and has seen his fair share of drama on the cobbles – particularly when it comes to matters of the heart.
Billy, played by Daniel Brocklebank, met Sean Tully and they had a two-year relationship before Billy left Sean for Todd Grimshaw. Soon after, Billy and Todd’s guardianship of Summer Spellman came about in 2017 when Summer’s adoptive father Drew Spellman, Billy’s ex of her, asked them in his dying months to take her on from her.
But Todd disappeared in 2018 while Billy remained in Weatherfield with Summer, living at 19a Rosamund Street. Finally getting over Todd, Billy ended up in a two-year relationship with Paul Foreman which ended when Todd-and his scheming ways of him, returned and enacted a campaign to split the couple up. The pair were due to get married after Todd popped the question but in typical Corrie fashion, Todd’s lies were exposed and Billy had his heartbroken all over again.
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Last month, however, after Daniel and co-star Gareth Pierce, who plays Todd, returned to filming on the ITV soap, the pair were back on-screen together and suddenly appeared friends again in the interests of Summer who is working herself to the bone ahead of her exams that will determine her place at university.
While we’ve already seen Summer’s friends, Asha Alahan, Amy Barlow, and Aadi Alahan, sharing some concern from Summer, this week we’ll see Billy’s worry ramp up. He’s concerned to realize a diabetic Summer has been up all night revising and warns her she’ll burn herself out, sending her blood sugars all over the place. Aadi calls to see Summer, but she sends him packing and when Billy reminds her that she promised to help out at the church, Summer’s adamant she hasn’t got time. Clearly worried, Amy promises Billy she will try and help speak to Summer.
And Billy’s caring nature doesn’t just stretch to the character as the actor that plays him is too as one of his acts a few years ago showed. Back in 2019 the 42-year-old soap star got a ‘new man in his life from him’-an adorable Dachshund called Colin. Daniel adopted the then-four-month old pup who was being cared for at Dogs Trust Manchester after being illegally smuggled into the UK.
Colin was one of a litter of six puppies illegally imported into the UK from Hungary. Having traveled over 1,000 miles in horrendous conditions the litter was seized at the border by enforcement authorities before being looked after by the animal welfare charity.
Daniel wasted no time in taking him to the famous Corrie cobbles. Sharing a photo of Colin on the famous street, he told his followers on Twitter: “I have a new man in my life. Peeps, please may I introduce you to Colin. A huge thank you to Dogs Trust for all your help & guidance Adopt & give them their forever home.”
Then, in February 2020, Daniel and Colin got a friend. “I would like to introduce you all to the newest addition to the family… Colin now has a sister, Jean!!” the actor shared alongside a photo of him cuddling up to his new Dachshund pup. “Huge thanks to the @DogsTrust again for all their amazing support.”
It is quite clear from Dan’s Instagram post that Colin and Jean are two of the biggest loves of his life. But as for a partner, it is unclear whether Dan is in a relationship or not but we do know he dated one of his co-stars of him.
The actor made headlines when he started dating fellow Corrie actor Rob Mallard, who played Ken Barlow’s son, Daniel Osbourne- for a couple of months. The pair seemed very much smitten with Rob saying Dan was “the best thing I’ve taken home this year” when he picked up an award at the British Soap Awards in 2017.
But just two months after that public declaration the pair split with sources citing the reason as being the pressure of working together while maintaining a romantic relationship. Daniel went on to date Stuart Hatton Jnr. and confirmed his new relationship with him in a tweet after the handsome pair met at Stockholm Pride.
Sadly, after two years of dating, Daniel and Stuart decided to call it a day on their relationship. The pair, who had spoken about their dreams of having children one day, reportedly made the mutual decision to part ways shortly before Christmas in 2019.
Daniel’s first TV appearance came in 1994 he appeared in children’s TV show Brum. A few years later, in 1999, the star received a Screen Actors Guild Award for his part in the hit movie Shakespeare In Love-which starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Colin Firth, Ben Affleck and Judi Dench among others.
He also starred in The Hours opposite Meryl Streep, Another Life opposite Imelda Staunton and Tom Wilkinson, and Merlin opposite Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter to name but a few.
But it was after appearing in Shakespeare In Love that Daniel first opened up about his sexuality. “I pretend for a living, I didn’t want to pretend in my private life,” he previously said about coming out. “When you spend your life on screen, it’s important to hold on to the bits that are real. Who I am in my real life should bear no relevance to what I play on screen.”
But speaking to the Mirror last year, Daniel says that being open about his sexuality may have cost him an even bigger Hollywood career. “I remember my management in Los Angeles trying to convince me not to come out because they said it would affect work – and it did,” he told the publication.
“I stopped being screen-tested for the heterosexual male leads and I was either the gay best friend or the character parts. It was more in America than in Britain, but it was still very prevalent.”
But in 2014 Daniel landed the role of gay vicar Billy and he had nothing but good things to say. “I love it at Coronation Street. For the first time in my life I’m not chasing the next job,” he told the Mirror. “I’m creatively challenged, I’ve made some beautiful friends and I love Manchester, why would I change it?
“I’ve had an incredible career and done amazing things and seen amazing places, but Corrie has given me a work/life balance which I’ve never really been able to have before. As I’ve got older I’ve appreciated that .”
But Corrie wasn’t the first time Dan appeared in a soap. “It’s actually my fifth,” he told the Metro. “In Emmerdale I was a bisexual Geordie bin man and in EastEnders I played someone connected to the Mitchells – they thought I was Billy Mitchell’s long-lost son. I also did a soap in Ireland called Fair City and I’ve done a few guests episodes of Doctors.”
Back in August, Daniel gave his fans ‘goosebumps’ as he revealed his hidden talent. He shared the four-minute video to his Instagram page of him as he belted out the emotional ballad in his living room of him. Dan performed his own version of Grow As We Go by American singer and actor Ben Platt and the compliments quickly came flooding in.
But his singing talent may not have been a surprise to everyone as back in 2019, Dan won ITV All Star Musicals with a rendition of From Now On from The Greatest Showman, seeing off stiff competition from the likes of Joel Dommett, money saving expert Martin Lewis and Emmerdale’s Amy Walsh.
Dan also has a good relationship with many of his co-stars and has shared many a picture from various outings on social media. Back in September Daniel and co-star Gareth Pierce, who plays Todd, went on a mini-break and shared some holiday snaps on social media.
Last summer the pair were joined by their Corrie co-stars Julia Goulding, Sue Cleaver and Tony Maudsley for a camping trip. The group pitched up tents for a summer staycation with Gareth, who plays Todd Grimshaw in the ITV soap, sharing some of their holiday snaps and commenting: “Camping with the Corrie famelamadingdong.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.