Corrie’s Phelan star Connor McIntyre 3 years after soap exit – TV return and art

Few names send a chill down the spines of Coronation Street fans like Pat Phelan, the notorious serial killer and rapist who terrorised the cobbles.

Played by actor Connor McIntyre, 60, the corrupt Scouse builder first appeared on the street in 2013, when his malevolent streak became immediately apparent.

His presence cast a dark shadow over Weatherfield for the next five years, until he was stabbed to death by Anna Windass – one of his victims.

This week, it's been three years since Pat Phelan's spectacular exit from the cobbles, signifying the end of his reign of terror on the street.

In honour of the anniversary, Daily Star has taken a look at actor Connor, discovering what he has been up to since bidding farewell to the cobbles.

Since leaving the soap, Connor has enjoyed one major TV role, appearing in the fourth series of the hit Channel 4 comedy series Ackley Bridge.

He played the character of Grandad Cooper, grandfather to new character Johnny, who is a member of the Travelling community.

On the show, his character was kind-hearted – a million miles from the intimidation and evil of Corrie's Pat Phelan.

Watching the episode play out, soap fans went in meltdown to see Connor on their screens, chuffed to witness his return to television.

"It's Pat Phelan from Corrie! #AckleyBridge," wrote one, and a second agreed: "Good to see Pat Phelan back on TV! #AckleyBridge."

Acting aside, Connor is talented when it comes to another creative pursuit – he has a fine arts degree and is a passionate painter.

He earned his MA in contemporary art practice at the University of Plymouth in 2015 and went on to launch The Alamo Project, an independent artist-led studio space.

With the lockdown grinding the film and TV industry to a halt, the Lancashire-born star no doubt enjoyed the opportunity to turn his attention to his canvas.

He regularly shares his artwork online, teaming up with the Marie Curie Great Summer Art Auction last August to auction off his paintings in the name of charity.

Long before he enjoyed fame in Coronation Street, Connor enjoyed two very different roles, working as a lifeguard and a car salesman.

The soap star previously admitted he left school with no qualifications, telling the Liverpool Echo: "I don't suppose I was academic, I wasn't that bright.

"So in short, I seldom went to school.

"I'd hang out, smoking, doing what they do now when they don't go to school, normal Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn stuff…okay it might not have been that, but it feels like it when you're that age."

His love for the stage and screen emerged when he joined the Barbican Theatre in his home town of Plymouth, inspiring a lifelong love for theatrics.

He went on to appear in some of Britain's best-loved shows, from The Bill and Heartbeat, to cult medical dramas Doctors and Casualty.

Connor has also graced the big screen, appearing in feature films like The Be All and End All and Yasmin over the course of his varied career.

However, his career-defining role came when he was cast by Corrie bosses, going down in soap history with the likes of fellow villains Richard Hillman and Geoff Metcalfe.

Reminiscing over his early days on set, Connor told Northern Life magazine: "I don't want to over romanticise but when I first went into Coronation Street and saw all the pictures of the past cast, like Albert Tatlock, it was like looking at family photos.

"We are from the north, so it's part of our fabric, it's part of who we are."

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When his character was killed off, Connor accepted that was what fans deserved, tipping the scales of justice in the right direction.

He said at the time: "The viewers deserve that pay off because love him or hate him, we've taken them on a fine year odyssey.

"We've frustrated them, entertained them and delighted them in equal measure so it had to reach a conclusion."

Connor finished: "The next baddie, whoever that may be or whatever form that may take, needs to get on with their business instead of it being about whether Phelan is still around."

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