Coronation Street star, John Michie, has revealed how he is shocked at becoming a sex symbol at the age of 55!
Michie, who plays love-rat Karl Munro in the award-winning ITV soap, has only been in the show for a year, but so far his character has lost everything to gambling and more recently embarked on a steamy affair with his girlfriend, Stella’s (Michelle Collins) friend, Sunita (Shobna Gulati).
Michie made his name well-known in the TV industry back in 1998 when he joined Scottish detective dram, Taggart, as DI Robbie Ross, but has commented that he had never been considered a sex symbol until moving to Weatherfield.
Speaking to the Sun newspaper, happily married in real life, Michie revealed: “I was out with some of the boys in the cast a few weeks ago, somewhere I was a little bit too old to be, and I was stunned by the reaction of younger women.
“I thought to myself, ‘I should have joined this show ages ago!’ There is a lot of female affection for Karl.
“Fans want photos and kisses on the cheeks. There was a lot of attention and we caused a bit of a stir.
“I’m a middle-aged man but all these young women came up. It was quite flattering and very surprising.”
On his current cheating storyline, Michie commented: “Karl is quite charming and he’s a bit of a lad.
“Hopefully people dislike what he’s done but actually, strangely like him.”
“We get loads of fan mail. Because Karl has this young female following, the mail can get a bit steamy. It makes me blush, actually. I’m blushing now.
“Women seem to love him. They think they’re the one who could tame him. There is a lot of attention and affection for him from the ladies.
“People are attracted to dangerous people.”
However, despite increasing his popularity with the female fans, Michie worries that his alter-ego has the male fans thinking he is giving them a bad name:
“I do get a bit of abuse about the affair but, strangely, just from the guys. It’s quite a lot of, ‘Oh, you dirty b*****d’ and all that but nothing from the women — they think Karl’s all right.”
With regards to his two leading ladies, Michie explained:“Shobna and I get on well and I really enjoy working with her. We have a laugh and we work well together.”
He adds: “It’s great working with Michelle. I’ve known her for a long time. We worked on a soap called Albion Market in the Eighties.”
Discussing his characters future, Karl has recently put an end to his affair with Sunita, but remains petrified that the scorned barmaid will reveal all to his meal-ticket, Stella, Michie went on: “He’s starting to get worried that it’s going to come back and bite him.
“He thought he was safe because she was a married woman with kids and it would always be their little secret so now he’s panicking a bit.”
But despite the love-rat stigma, Michie confirmed that he is enjoying the storyline and has no desire to leave the ITV soap anytime soon: “I’m loving it. As long as it carries on like this, I’m staying here. Why would you leave?
“I’ve been pretty busy for a few months, but if you’re in Corrie you might as well be in it and go for it.
“I’m happy to do as much as they throw my way, really.”
Watch John in action in the clip below:
Coronation Street can be seen Monday, Thursday and Friday evenings on ITV1/ITV1 HD.