We caught up with Charlie Lawson about Jim's return to Coronation Street.
How did you feel about being asked to come back?
I was absolutely delighted, I love playing Jim and when I was told about the storyline I was really pleased with the idea that they had. If you are going to use a character you may as well use him properly, I don’t think I would have been as interested in coming back for a one episode prison visit for example.
Is it odd to be back but not actually working on the Street itself?
Not at all because they have built a prison set above Roy's Rolls so it does feel like I am on the street. We have filmed at a real prison in the past but it is much easier to have the purpose built set here on site. It also means I get to work on the new set, which is fantastic.
How has Coronation Street changed since you started in the late 80s?
When we first started it was a lot slower, there were far less people and we only did two episodes a week. The atmosphere was different, we worked hard and played hard. We had a Coronation Street Cricket team but there's not time for any of that now.
The pace is much quicker, more episodes, more cast. People tend to go home to learn their lines, but the whole industry is like that now. We can have four units working, so you can be here and not see people who are in working on the same day.
Can you remember your early days on the show joining as a family?
It was very funny because people had their own chairs and you had to be careful where you sat! I didn’t know anyone in the show, but I knew how enormous the show was.
It was a different animal in those days, people were huge stars, they had come through the 60s and 70s as the first big TV celebrities. We were very lucky to come in together, I was cast first and had an input in choosing Beverly (Liz) and then we both helped choose the boys.
You are starting from the right premise and you know it is going to work when it is done in that way. We were always very close and we came in on a year’s contract and right from the word go it was clear that they were writing for us.
People got used to the new kids on the block very quickly. They felt different and had some amazing storylines.