Inside Corrie’s Mikey North’s life from fitness instructor wife to odd phobia
27th November 2022
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    Coronation Street's Gary Windass is Weatherfield's resident hard man, his many romances and brushes with the law charted on the soap each year.

    A far cry from his scandalous onscreen persona, actor Mikey North leads a low key life as a husband and proud dad of two when filming wraps.

    The soap star, 35, is at the heart of the drama on the street this week, as Gary's world is about to "come crashing down".

    Mikey North recently spoke to Daily Star about his character as he said the truth about him burying Rick's body is going to come out, adding: "It had to come to the surface, and that time is now."

    Maria tells Gary the new training ground is located at the old brickworks, exactly where the body is buried.

    Mikey added: "So Gary is absolutely horrified, and that may very well be the end. There’s not much he can do then.

    "This is where his world comes crashing down, essentially."

    As the gruelling scenes play out, Daily Star has done a deep dive into the actor's personal life, which is a far cry from the harrowing difficulties Gary has to face.

    Rise to fame

    Born in Scarborough, Mikey's love for the stage began at an early age, when he started appearing in local productions aged 12.

    Six years later, an agent scoped his talent when he starred in a play at Scarborough Sixth Form College, helping him to turn his hobby into a professional pursuit.

    Acclaim followed when he took part in the play Bottle Universe in London's West End, which won him an award for the most promising newcomer with the British Theatre Guide.

    After that, Mikey dabbled in bit-parts, showing face in some of Britain's best-loved dramas from The Bill to Waterloo Road.

    However, in 2008, he was cast in the role that would go on to define his career, getting chosen by ITV bosses to play Corrie's Gary Windass.

    And, he has no plans to leave, telling This Morning earlier this year: "I have just signed a new contract not that long back, so I am there for the next while.

    "I'm loving the stuff they have given me, I've had a great couple of years so I can't complain with the storylines I've had.

    "I'm just hoping it will continue wherever and whenever that may be."

    Happy marriage

    Mikey met fitness instructor Rachael at a bar in Manchester – where Coronation Street is filmed – in 2013, with the pair hitting it off.

    Two years later, Mikey got on bended knee and proposed to Rachael up in the Lake District, asking for her hand in marriage.

    He previously told OK! magazine: "I asked her to shut her eyes. When she opened them I was down on one knee with the ring. I was looking up at Rachael, with my knees getting wet, and I just said: 'Will you marry me?'"

    He added: "In the moment before I proposed I was shaking like a leaf. Then when she said yes, I called my mum and just couldn't stop crying. "

    Soon after their engagement, the pair chose the stunning Curradine Barns in Shrawley for their wedding venue, taking to the Worcestershire countryside to walk down the aisle.

    Rachael wore a beautiful ivory gown with lace detailing at the waist and sleeves and a fitted bodice, her hair worked into a Grecian up-do.

    Mikey oped for a traditional three-piece suit in navy, pinning a cluster of flowers to his lapel and buttoning his tailcoat over his waistcoat.

    Remembering the moment he clocked Rachael walking towards him at the altar, Mikey admitted: "When I first saw her I was really trying not to cry."


    Mikey and Rachael welcomed their baby boy in November 2016 – but decided to keep the tot's birth under wraps for the next three months.

    They named their first-born Archie, and though the parents were overjoyed, the delivery was difficult for Rachael.

    "I had to have an episiotomy but unfortunately they cut through a vein and I lost one and a half litres of blood," she told OK! magazine.

    "She was throwing up with the pain," Mikey added. "I had tears in my eyes just watching."

    Thankfully, Rachael made a full recovery and the parents admitted went on to welcome another child, a daughter, in November 2019.

    The couple hasn't shared their daughter's name, though they admitted their son Archie helped them to choose it.

    Four is the ideal number for Mikey and Rachael, who have since insisted they have no plans to have any more children.

    "I would be highly surprised if we had any more. Two is a great number," Mikey told OK! magazine.

    Secret phobia

    Mikey harboured an unusual phobia for a long time until an invitation from a reality TV show forced him to face his fears.

    The North Yorkshire-born star was terrified of driving but bravely agreed to take part in a 2018 series of All Star Driving School, getting behind the wheel for the first time.

    Mikey told What's On TV he was "absolutely terrified" of driving, and had been putting off getting his licence since he was a teenager.

    "When I was 17 I moved to London and I didn't need to drive, and now I'm 31 and get stick from my friends," Mikey explained.

    "It's become a bit of a phobia of mine, and so for some stupid reason I thought: 'Let's go on national television and learn how to drive in front of everyone!'"

    However, Mikey had a sweet reason behind his decision to learn to drive – he wanted to help his wife Rachael with the school run.

    "I did it for my little boy, who is almost two, and also for my wife," he said.

    "She's sick of ferrying me everywhere, to be honest. If I pass, it will open up a whole new world for me. Everyone has always told me that it will be life-changing."

    Hidden talent

    Clearly a man of many talents, Mikey has a decent singing voice, even lending his vocals to a charity single back in 2010.

    Recording the track for ABF The Soldiers Charity, Mikey joined a slew of celebrities in the production, singing a rendition of the Queen hit ‘No One But You (Only The Good Die Young).

    Darren Day – star of the West End and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant – led the rendition, which helped to raise money for soldiers, former soldiers and their families.

    Fellow soap stars Poppy Jhakra, of Coronation Street and Waterloo Road fame, and former Holby City star Ian Aspinall also took part in the charity release.

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