Watch: Will Mellor talks about how much his new Coronation Street role means to him, and his mum
Will Mellor’s older sister died suddenly from heart failure in 2012. Joanne — who was born with Marfan’s syndrome — was only 44 at the time, and her unexpected death left a big hole in Mellor’s life.
Speaking on White Wine Question Time, the actor, who is currently in Coronation Street, said the grief sent him into a downward spiral.
“My sister passed away and I sunk a bit,” he admitted to host Kate Thornton.
“I went a bit downhill, and I drank too much. I got into gambling a bit and just chasing highs as you do, you know? I was a bit depressed, and I didn't know it.”
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Talking about his sister just after the inquest into her death back in 2013, he told The Mirror that his sister was the centre of his family.
“Everything revolved around Joanne,” he said. “We’ve always been close as a family, but we all saw more of each other than we probably would have done because of her. She was the glue that kept us all together.”
Fast forward to 2020 and Mellor saw himself slipping into that same downward spiral. Echoing his sister’s death, his father Bill died suddenly during the first lockdown and Mellor, in particular, struggled to come to terms with not being with him at the end.
“In this pandemic to lose somebody when you can't be with them is just horrendous because you can't change it,” he told Thornton.
He continued: “I didn't want to sink because I've done it before. I saw the signs this time and I thought you know what, he lives in me now."
His grief has also been compounded by the fact that his beloved mum Shirley also lost her brother just before Christmas.
“It's been really tough,” he admitted. “It's just, you know, when things start happening and going wrong, you don't want the phone to ring, and it just seems to all come at once.”
The former Hollyoaks star has been determined though to change things up a bit and make a fresh start this year.
“I just thought I'd try to start this year with a clean slate,” he explained.
“I'm just going to go and enjoy my life and go for walks and look at animals in fields, which is very strange, but I do that quite a lot now, just because it's, it clears my mind.”
He continued: “What I'm trying to do is be mindful, how grateful I am to have my children and my family and the life I have been blessed to have.”
While the pandemic has been doubly tough for Mellor due to dealing with the grief, he said he hopes something good will come out of the time we’ve all spent locked down.
“I think now we've learned to appreciate that we need social interaction, let's just be nicer to each other,” he told Thornton.
“I want to wake up smiling and say ‘Good Morning!’ to people and take that as a good thing that’s happened today, rather than thinking what about this job and stop shaking the trees so much and just go and enjoy it!”
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