Corrie’s Peter star’s life off-air from marriage to co-star to alcohol battle

Chris Gascoyne's Coronation Street character Peter Barlow has enjoyed a colourful love life over the years – but in real life his romantic affairs are quite different.

The actor, who has played the actor since 2000, has had several affairs and built up a reputation of being a bigamist on-screen.

But in real life, Chris has been married to wife Caroline Harding for nearly 20 years and they have a daughter Belle, 18.

Caroline's also has two sons, Pip and Freddie, who she shares with her former husband, Line of Duty star Jason Watkins.

Chris admitted he is far from being a ladies man in real life, saying: "It's odd because I've never been like that at all.

"When I was younger it wasn't for want of trying, but I'd be the bloke at the bus stop at the end of the night on his own with a kebab.

Chris also admitted to Mirror Online he didn't predict he would have started dating Caroline, saying in 2010: "If someone had said to me in my 20s that I'd have dated a divorced mum with kids, I would have said no way.

"But it kind of made me feel closer to her. It was a very real relationship very quickly. I saw this amazing strength in her and I loved her kids Freddie and Pip."

But who is Chris' wife and how did they meet?

The pair met when they went to watch comic Catherine Tate, who is their mutual friend at London's Comedy Store in 2000.

Caroline caught Chris' eye during the interval but he was initially reluctant to make a move because he thought she was with his partner.

But he was delighted when she popped over for a chat at the end of the performance and he discovered she was actually just with a friend.

They hit it off and then enjoyed a walk through Soho together.

Chris was disappointed in himself that he didn't get her number – but was later relieved to be handed it by Catherine – and the pair then started dating.

They got married in 2002 and now live in Manchester near the Corrie set.

Caroline first appeared in the soap in 2015, as Dr Howarth and made another appearance as the character again later that year to treat dying Oliver Battersby.

Caroline has also appeared in Emmerdale – playing a total of four different characters.

In the soap, Peter is in desperate need of a liver transplant after battling alcohol addiction.

Peter admitted in his 2010 interview he had also had issues with alcohol and drew on his own experiences when playing the character.

He said: "I've kind of been there myself – when I was younger I did used to drink an awful lot. I think you get seduced by it when you're a young actor.

"You're surrounded by a drinking culture and it's almost a romantic thing. Everywhere you go it's there.

"I still like a night out, but it had gone past that to a pointless place where I was looking always to seek oblivion in it. You come home and you're hung over and you get drinker's guilt.

He added that he could look back on his life and realise that his past issues was to do with alcohol, adding he'd "said things to people and done things he wouldn't have done if he had been sober".

Chris also revealed that he's not teetotal but rarely drinks now.

Corrie airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm on ITV.

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