Ben Price has to stab himself with a toothpick on the 'Coronation Street' set to stop himself laughing.

Ben Price

Ben Price

Simon Gregson - who plays Steve McDonald on the ITV soap - loves working with the 46-year-old star, who is to return to the show as Nick Tilsley, and admits the "dafter" and "more silly" the atmosphere is on set the better a day he has at work.

He said: "I love working with Chris Gascoyne and Ben Price, before now Ben has had to have a toothpick to stick in his hand to stop him laughing in a scene.

"The thing for me the dafter it is and the more silly it is the better a day at work it is for me. The crew get on board with it and the atmosphere is great. So Steve and Lloyd's scenes were great to do.

"Craig [Charles] is a fantastic comedy actor but he would let me run with it and was happy to play the straight man and we slotted into that very easily.

"Now it has taken on a different type of dynamic with Joe Duttine, as Tim and Steve are both as daft as each other.

"I always look at Tim and Steve and think they should be in shorts with a conker each and getting up to no good, so I love working with him as well."

As well as Ben, Chris (Peter Barlow) and Joe (Tim Metcalfe), Simon cannot help chuckling when he is starring opposite his on-screen father Charlie Lawson (Jim McDonald), and the pair are always trying to make each other laugh.

He said: "I love working with Bev [Callard, Liz McDonald], we have a such a great time. With Steve and Liz there is always that air of comedy and as Charlie has got older he has got worse, and once Bev starts laughing she can't stop.

"Charlie is always about making me laugh but I tell him I have learned from the master so I can get him back."

Simon has portrayed Steve for nearly 30 years and while it took him "a long time to get grounded", he is grateful to the soap for helping to provide him with a "very nice life".

He added: "I don't know what I would have said if I had walked in [for an audition] and they said ok this is an audition for the next 30 years of your life.

"The job has flipped my life upside down but it has also provided a very nice life, it has taken me a long time to get grounded but I guess if they had shown me what was to come I would still have taken the job.

"It doesn't feel like 30 years, if someone said it has been 15 years I'd think yes that sounds about right."