REVELLERS in Hartlepool can be forgiven for doing a double take tomorrow when one of the nation’s best-loved soap stars has a night on the town.
Former Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones, who played loveable rogue Les Battersby, has been a regular visitor to Hartlepool in recent weeks after launching his autobiography.
The 59-year-old, whose agent is town-based Paul Gough, who runs Goffy Media, has made frequent visits to the town and will be back on the tiles over the weekend having returned from a promotional trip to Benidorm to promote his book, Les Battersby and Me.
Bruce, who also had a role in the hit film The Full Monty and has appeared in several other TV shows since leaving Corrie in 2007, admits he is stunned by the reception he gets when he goes out in Hartlepool.
Speaking exclusively to the Hartlepool Mail, the Manchester-born actor said: “I love Hartlepool, it is a lovely place and the people up here are wonderful.
“Goffy has shown me all the sights, I’ve been down the marina and into town and I think it is fantastic.
“It never ceases to amaze me how popular Les Battersby was. It’s more than four years since I left the Street, but people still come up to me and call me Les. It’s brilliant!”
Bruce spent last Saturday night enjoying a night in the Black Olive, on Navigation Point, and then The White Hart, in Hart Village, on Sunday before heading out to Benidorm for a series of promotional events with Paul.
And before heading back to his home in North Wales on Sunday, he is keen to enjoy another night out mingling with locals in Hartlepool tomorrow.
Paul said: “It’s a while since Bruce was in Corrie, but it’s amazing how popular he still is.
“When we’ve been out in the town, he’s been mobbed!
“He is surprised that people still recognise him, but when you think when he was in the show he was on our screens four nights a week with up to 20 million people tuning in.
“We’ve had a good few days in Benidorm promoting the book and doing a few question and answer sessions, but he’s persuaded me to take him out in Hartlepool one more time before he heads home.
“I think Hartlepool has quickly become his second home, he loves it and I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s back.”