Coronation Street veteran Michael Le Vell enjoys a rare night out with his co-stars having swapped boozing for horse riding.
The actor, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster, was the “life and soul” of a dinner at The Alchemist in Manchester last Tuesday.
Cast members, including Sair Khan (Alya Nazir), 29, Alan Halsall (Tyrone Dobbs), 35, and Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster), 25, were celebrating the ITV show winning five gongs at the Inside Soap Awards.
Other stars who joined them included Dean Fagan (Luke Britton), 29, Mikey North (Gary Windass), 31, and Lucy Fallon (Bethany Platt), 21.
A source said: “Michael is really boring these days and rarely comes out, normally he goes straight home from work or is horse riding.
“But he wanted to celebrate with his colleagues who are also close friends. They all had a great time.”Read More
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During his 2013 sex trial - at which he was cleared of all charges - Michael told how he had a 12-pint-a-night lager addiction.
The 52-year-old returned to work on the ITV soap after a spell in rehab and in 2014 he said he was going sober.
Since then he has been spotted having a few drinks here and there and has taken up horse riding with one source saying he could compete professionally.
Last year he donated £1000 to save the life of an ill horse at Angel’s Rescue Centre in Macclesfield where he regular volunteers with his girlfriend Louise Gibbons, 39.
The couple’s relationship has stepped up a gear in recent months with friends saying marriage is on the cards.
One friend said: “Michael is loving life at the moment, horse riding has helped him immensely and his relationship with Louise is really strong.Read More
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“They are very happy together and Michael has been telling everyone that she is “the one”.”
“They still drink together and he enjoys a pint here and there but it doesn’t take over his life anymore.”
In September he was offered another new 12-month contract on the soap with bosses starting negotiations ahead of schedule.
The source added: “Michael is a well loved cast member and hugely popular with viewers. There was no way ITV were not going to renew his contract.”