Ex-Emmerdale star Bill Ward becomes supermarket delivery driver after Covid cancelled acting work

22 December 2020, 07:12 | Updated: 22 December 2020, 07:24

Bill Ward became a Tesco delivery driver during the pandemic
Bill Ward became a Tesco delivery driver during the pandemic. Picture: ITV/Getty Images

Emmerdale and Coronation Street star Bill Ward has opened up after his theatre work was cancelled earlier this year.

Former Emmerdale star Bill Ward has revealed that he became a Tesco delivery driver during the pandemic.

The actor is best known for playing James Barton in Emmerdale until 2017, as well as Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street back in 2003.

But while he turned his hand to stage acting a few years ago, he was left without work when his tour with The Glee Club was cancelled earlier this year due to Covid-19.

Speaking to Bristol Post, Bill revealed that he, like many actors, looked at other work opportunities to provide for his two children.

Bill Ward starred as James Barton in Emmerdale
Bill Ward starred as James Barton in Emmerdale. Picture: Getty Images

This led him to look at online Zoom classes for photography, voiceover jobs and delivery work.

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“Towards the end of May it started to become clear that the pandemic wasn’t going away,” he said.

”And if anything it was going to get worse.

"That's when you look at the rest of the year ahead and think, 'Okay, I need to make a living this year; how are we going to do that as a family?'

"My partner and I started doing things we wouldn't normally be able to do as much of, and for me one of those things has been giving photography talks to camera clubs over Zoom.

"I've also taught in drama schools and film schools, written for photography magazines and done a few bits of voiceover work for Channel 5.

"But on top of that you need some kind of regular income, so I've been a delivery driver for Tesco since the end of May, doing around 30 hours a week."

Over his career, 53-year-old Bill has also starred in Eastenders and The Bill, as well as musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

And after 18-years as an actor, the dad-of-two wants to give back to the industry and has been raising money for the Theatres Trust, which supports under-threat venues, by putting together a photography book.

The pictures were taken by Bill over years while he was touring on stage and he’s now compiled them into a book called Theatres In Danger.

He is also filming a new series for Channel 4 and is ‘thankful’ he has been able to rely on his acting for so many years before Covid struck.

"Most actors and others behind the scenes have been as equally impacted this year, and as we're all freelancers it means we can't be furloughed or receive self-employment income support scheme," he added.

"It's a case of doing whatever you can to earn a living, and it's part of the reason I wanted to do something to support the theatre industry."

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