Antony Cotton admits he was "quite grumpy" during his stint on 'Dancing on Ice' - because was secretly helping a homeless man back on his feet.

Antony Cotton

Antony Cotton

The 'Coronation Street' star - who plays Sean Tully on the ITV soap - was seen getting into rows with judges on the celebrity skating show at the beginning of the year, and he was desperate to tell people why he was not his usual self after a friend messaged him on Facebook asking for help.

He told BANG Showbiz: "I was in the middle of 'Dancing on Ice'. So I may have appeared quite grumpy on 'Dancing on Ice' occasionally, but I wanted to say you don't know the f***ing half of what I'm going through right now.

"So anyway, I was filming 'Coronation Street', I was going down to Hertfordshire to do the show, and going to Blackburn to rehearse, and in the middle of all this, this lad appeared in my life."

The connection came as freezing weather swept the UK, and Sean fears his friend could have died if he didn't have someone in a position to knock on doors and get him the help he needed.

He added: "My friend did it for six months and it nearly killed him. Because of that severe weather, he wasn't physically in a place with anyone to help him and he mentally wasn't in a place and he was so thin, about eight stone, and he was a massive lad.

"He says, 'I think I would have died,' because he was so cold, he was so fragile.

"And that's a really sobering thought, that happens and it happens very quickly. So his story was six months, Sean's is about three months."

Following the real-life experience, Antony was handed a similar storyline on 'Coronation Street' in an act of pure coincidence.

Sean's story will see him wake up in a tent in the park after he's kicked out of Fiz Stape's (Jennie McAlpine) home, and while Liz McDonald (Beverley Callard) offers him her sofa she also throws him out when he steals her shifts at the Rovers Return.

Antony admitted he likes seeing such a serious storyline being played out honestly, rather than as a vehicle for something else.

He explained: "What's been a real joy is sometimes, not necessarily this show or other shows, is purely for the issue-based thing to drive traffic to a website.

"What I've loved about this is it's all true. And I've been able to add my experiences as we've been filming."

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