Corrie: Child star Hayden Whitbread, who played Freddie Peacock, is bravely battling cancer

by Lynn Connolly

hayden whitbread

Fans of Coronation Street will no doubt remember that characters Claire and Ashley Peacock – who were played by Julia Haworth and Steven Arnold – had a little boy called Freddie, who was once at the centre of a kidnap plot.

But sadly it’s been reported today that child actor Hayden Whitbread, who played the role of Freddie – alongside his twin Dylan – is currently battling cancer.

Six year old Hayden has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour and is currently undergoing grueling chemotherapy treatment.

However, his proud parents Joanne and Steve have told The Sun that their little boy is a fighter and he’s determined to pull through.

Of the moment that they first realized something was wrong with Hayden, Joanne revealed it had been during a family holiday…

She said, “Normally he is on the beach and really happy. But he went quiet and his appetite went.

julia haworth

“When we got back we went to see the doctor, who told us, ‘We think he has got a tumour.’

“The first thing I said was, ‘Is he going to die?’”

The paper adds, “The devastated couple were told Hayden had Wilms Tumour, which strikes children in the kidneys. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, fever, sickness and increased growth on one side of the body.”

However, if it’s detected early, as it evidently was in Hayden’s case, doctors say there’s a 90% chance of a full recovery.

This week, Hayden enjoyed paying a surprise visit to Manchester City’s training ground, where he was given the full VIP treatment as he met his heroes Mario Balotelli, Vincent Kompany and James Milner.

Meanwhile, Julia Haworth became one of the first people to donate to the Justgiving fund.


She wrote, “Thinking of you all and sending lots of love and strength. Get well soon Hayden xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx” Donate to the fund at

Here’s a reminder of Hayden on Corrie…

I’m sure you’ll join us in wishing this brave little boy a very speedy recovery.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.

1 Comment

  1. Silvia Logan on December 20, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I feel really sorry about Hayden having cancer at such a young age. It would be upsetting for me if I was his mother. I hope that you make a full recovery Hayden and die at a ripe old age.

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