SIMON GREGSON - real name ‘Simon Allen Gregory’ was born at Wythenshawe Hospital on 2nd October 1974. He was the only child of a policeman father and a bank clerk mother. Simon was educated at Cheadle Etchells Primary School and Cheadle Comprehensive School, where he was very interested in sport but also took part in the school plays.
In 1989, at the age of 14, Simon auditioned at school for for the part of one of two new cast members to join the soap Coronation Street - the 'McDonald Twins' part and was accepted to play the part of Steve McDonald. Although Nicholas Cochrane (who was cast as Steve's twin, Andy McDonald) attended the same school, they hardly knew each other as, in reality, his 'elder twin' was in the year above him. Simon took his GCSE's in 1991 after studying with a private tutor and changed his name to Simon Gregson when he joined the actors union Equity and could not be a member under his former name.
Gregson once threatened to leave the show when show bosses decided not to have him beat up Tommy Harris in a garage brawl. Gregson felt that fans already saw him as the toughest man on the cobbles and felt a story was needed to reinforce this.
Simon lived a high life and was forever in the newspapers with stories of romances and drinking sessions. He loved water skiing, speedboats and fast cars. He soon landed in trouble with the police and Granada Television when he was charged with traffic offences. In 1995 a life of drink and drugs was revealed and accompanying this was a confession of a cocaine habit costing £1,000 per month.
He was laid off from the show so he could sort himself out and he returned to the series after 18 months away, having cleaned up his act and quit cocaine. Simon is single although romances have been reported with Wendy Kingston, Gloria Hickson and Keely Valentine as well as dating Coronation Street publicity officer Melissa Hall-Smith. Simon is also learning to fly at Manchester School of Flying.
To date, he's been a good lad and has become one of Coronation Street's most endearing characters.