Actor Matt Milburn has been a frequent face on Coronation Street over the last seven years, starring as on-off character Tommy Orpington

Tommy Orpington actor Matt Milburn is best known for Coronation Street.

The footballer soap star has starred in the popular ITV programme on-off for the last seven years, and is reportedly set for a sensation return. But what is Matt’s real life like and is it as dramatic as his on-screen character?

Here The Mirror takes a look at the Corrie actor’s life off-screen, as well as the other role fans might recognise him from. Matt first appeared on the cobbles on October 3 2016 when his character sought the help of Michelle Connor to organise his wedding.

He played Tommy Orpington, a professional football player, who went on to become friends with both Michelle’s husband Steve McDonald and his business partner Tim Metcalfe – which ignited a feud between the pair. The character retired from playing football in June 2021, which was the same year that he last made an appearance on the street.

Tommy opened a gourmet burger restaurant themed after himself, which unfortunately failed and led to him losing all his money. To add to his woes, his wife also left him. His Christmas storyline sees him returning to his former jobs of painting and decorating and helping one of the residents out. However, he is said to cause some major issues.

Previous acting career

Matt has previously acted in other shows including Channel 4’s Hollyoaks as Joe Spencer from 2003 until 2006.

His character was dramatically killed off in a fire at The Dog in the Pond. He also starred in Doctors for two episodes as the characters Leon D’Costa and Dexter Thomson.

He wrote: “The Happiest of Birthdays today to my gorgeous wife(and Stay) xxx It’s been a tough yr for her and her twin Stacy Franklin, after being involved in a horrible accident in January.

“The way they have dealt with it, both physically and mentally has been nothing short of amazing. Spirit, resolve, determination… has inspired me and Makes me super proud onwards and upwards now!!

“Have the best day, sorry can’t be there but we’ll celebrate when I’m back!! Love you all the #superwife #hardasnails #twinpower# #ifcarlsbergdidwives”.

Soap star sibling

Matt Milburn is also the real-life brother of actor Greg Wood who played evil gangster Rick Neelan on Coronation Street on a recurring basis from 2009 until the character was murdered by Gary Windass in 2019.

Ever since Rick’s presence has been felt in the soap as Gary tried his utmost to cover up his crime, eventually securing his ex Sarah Platt in keeping the crime a secret. Actor Greg Wood also appeared on Hollyoaks as gangster Trevor Royle, who was murdered by teenager Nico Blake back in 2016.

In 2019, the two actors’ singing relationship was hinted at when Rick pinned Gary against a wall that showed a Tommy Orpington calendar. Interestingly, Tommy’s involvement in Corey and Kelly’s murder trial also brings the two actors symbolically close together again, given that Kelly is Rick Neelan’s daughter.


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