Antony Cotton MBE has become a beloved figure on the iconic British soap opera, Coronation Street, since he first joined the cast in 2003.
His character, Sean Tully, with his bubbly personality, has captured the hearts of viewers despite facing numerous challenges on the show.
Beyond the cobbles, Antony Cotton has had a rich and varied career, all while staying true to his calm Mancunian self. As he marks two decades in Weatherfield, let’s delve into his life and career.
Family Ties and Early Life
Born on August 5, 1975, in Bury, Antony Cotton is the son of the renowned actress Enid Dunn, who herself had a notable career in the acting profession.
His connection to the entertainment world began early, as he trained at the world-renowned Oldham Theatre Workshop.
It was during this time that he realized his identity and became actively involved in charity work for LGBTQ+ foundations, including the Terrence Higgins Trust. Interestingly, his mother, Enid, also made appearances on Coronation Street, enriching the family’s legacy on the show.
Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
Antony’s early roles in the 1990s were minor, but his big break came in 1999 when he portrayed Alexander Perry in the groundbreaking gay drama “Queer as Folk.”
His authentic portrayal of gay relationships was widely praised, and it paved the way for roles in other successful shows, including “The Bill” and “Absolutely Fabulous.”
Coronation Street and Beyond
In 2003, Antony joined the cast of Coronation Street as barman and factory worker Sean Tully. Despite his enduring role on the show, he also explored hosting by launching his chat show in 2007.
Antony’s versatility extended to competitive reality shows, as he entered the “I’m A Celebrity” jungle in 2011 and participated in “Dancing On Ice” in 2018.
Awards and Recognitions
Throughout his career, Antony Cotton has been celebrated for his acting skills. In 2005, he received a National Television Award for Best Newcomer.
He has been a frequent winner at the Inside Soap Awards, earning accolades for being the best newcomer and the funniest character. In 2022, Antony received an MBE in recognition of his contributions to acting and charity work for military personnel.
Personal Life and Relationship
Antony is happily settled in Manchester with his partner, Peter Eccleston, who works as a prop buyer. They first crossed paths on the set of Coronation Street in 2005 and have shared a loving relationship since.
Antony has described their partnership as an incredible team that looks out for each other.
Advocacy and Challenges
While championing LGBTQ+ rights, Antony has faced criticism for the ‘camp’ portrayal of his Corrie character, Sean.
In 2014, he revealed the criticism he received from the LGBTQ+ community, emphasizing that acceptance is essential. Antony defended his character’s mannerisms and highlighted the importance of breaking stereotypes.
Antony Cotton’s significant contributions to Coronation Street and his multi-faceted career have made him a beloved and influential figure in British television.
His advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights, his ability to overcome challenges, and his enduring commitment to acting and charity work have left an indelible mark on both the entertainment industry and the LGBTQ+ community.