Sean Wilson tells Graham Norton: "I enjoyed Coronation Street, but I like making cheese too"

Virgin Radio

7 Mar 2023, 13:58

Graham Norton and Sean Wilson at Virgin Radio.

There are career changes, and then there is the former Martin Platt.

Since leaving Coronation Street in 2005 - with a brief return in 2018 - Sean 'Martin Platt' Wilson's career has taken a complete U-turn. First he became a successful chef, then he discovered his love for cheese.

The former soap star also recently released his second book, sharing his love for the dairy product. Entitled Cheddar Gorged, it's inspired by two cheddar cheeses made in Somerset, includes 60 recipes from across the world, the history of cheddar cheese, as well as some of his poetry.

He popped into The Graham Norton Radio Show With Waitrose this weekend to tell us all about it.

"Cheese is my passion," says Sean, who graced the Weatherfield cobbles for two decades, "and I make Lancashire cheeses, so they're very much under the banner of territorial cheeses, which then takes you to the history of British cheese. We have Lancashire, Cheshire, Wensleydale, Stilton, double Gloucesters and your single Gloucesters and then Cheddar. They're Britain's oldest cheeses."

Does Sean ever wish he'd knocked the acting on the head earlier, and indulged this passion back when he was being nagged by wife Gail in the Rovers Return?

"I loved my time at Coronation Street," says Sean, "and I think I was a member of that show through its halcyon years really. There really were 20 million people watching some of the episodes. I very much liked my time there, but this food thing, once it gets you, it really gets you."

Martin says that his passion for cooking started early - when he got his own kitchen, aged 19.

"I wanted to cook earlier than that," he recalls, but my mother would always say she was too busy and shoo me out of the kitchen and what's not. But when I got my own kitchen, and [legendary TV chef] Keith Floyd had come to our screens, I suddenly ended up popping over to France and buying corn fed chickens and stuff. I remember asking for a corn fed chicken where I live in the suburbs of Manchester, and getting the strangest of looks! But it was my kitchen and Keith that was my awakening."

Sean runs his own cheese making company now, entitled Artisan Farm. But what inspired him to release the new book? "Because I wanted to show that there's more to cheese than people think," he says.

"Cheddar cheese is the nations favourite cheese," he says, "but we just don't know what to do with it. And we don't really know where it properly comes from. Or its history. So I'm just trying to update the nation on cheddar cheese. To show that there's more to it than putting it on a baked potato!"

Beats being shouted at by Gail, anyway.

Listen to The Graham Norton Radio Show every Saturday AND Sunday from 9:30 am on Virgin Radio or catch up on-demand here.