Matt Piddington, grandson of late Corrie star Bill Tarmey, talks to us about his acting roles in soaps & in shocking Stephen Lawrence documentary

When Coronation Street icon Bill Tarmey – who of course played the role of Jack Duckworth – sadly passed away late last year, we reported that his grandson, Matt Piddington, had promised his granddad that he would pursue his dream of becoming an actor…

And in an exclusive interview with us, Matt has revealed that he’s kept that promise, and in addition to landing roles in Coronation Street and Hollyoaks – among others – he’s also recently played the role of Luke Knight, who was involved in the circumstances surrounding the tragic and violent death of teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

The documentary, which is entitled, Crimes That Shook Britain: Stephen Lawrence, aired on the Crime & Investigation Network on Monday night, and of his role in it, Matt said, “I played the character Luke Knight…

“He was one of the suspects but he hasn’t been charged with any link to the murder.”

Several of the suspects in the Lawrence case were tried in the years following his death, and during the hearings, many of those involved were branded “racist thugs” in court. However, Knight always maintained that he had nothing to do with the incident and was cleared of murder after a private prosecution collapsed in 1996.

Matt continued, “Obviously I had to play the part of a ‘racist thug’ which was a bit awkward in the audition, but the director told me personally that I shocked him with how convincing I was, which was good to hear in a way.”

matt piddington in crimes that shook britain stephen lawrence

He added, “Acting is basically just making people believe what is happening in front of their eyes is real, and if I can do that, then that makes me happy, no matter what character I play.”

Next, we asked, “We reported recently that you’ve had a small role on Coronation Street. Have you filmed that yet? And if so, how did it go?”

Matt replied, “I’m an extra on Coronation Street from time to time plus other programmes…

“But if people want to think of what I do on Corrie as a small role, I don’t mind.”

I must apologise to Matt for using the word ‘small’ in my question! I should’ve said words to the effect of, “As an extra” because of course, being in one of the nation’s favourite soaps is a big achievement, whatever the role!

However, moving past my ill-advised choice of words, Matt continued, “I do however one day want to be more than an extra on the street as it is my dream to follow in my granddad’s footsteps.

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“I’ve done a few scenes in The Bistro plus a scene in Roy’s Rolls and The Rovers, but like I said it was just extra work.”

I then asked, “Are we going to see you in any other TV shows soon?” to which Matt replied, “There is the wedding coming up on Hollyoaks soon where I play a guest, but again only as an extra.

“I filmed with them for 5 days at an amazing location which was a lot of fun and a good experience.

“You will have to look out for me on that, plus I’ve got my scenes on Corrie coming up in Roy’s Rolls and The Bistro.”

And finally, I asked, “How are you and your family coping now after Bill’s death? It must be still so hard for you all…”

Matt said, “We take great comfort knowing that he is always with us.”

We wish Matt lots more success, and we look forward to seeing him on our screens again in the future!

For now, here’s a reminder of a Tonight interview with the suspects in the Stephen Lawrence case, and you can click here to visit the Crime & Investigation Network to learn more about their documentary…

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.