Corrie's Jez Quigley actor Lee Boardman has totally changed since soap stint

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Corrie's Jez Quigley actor Lee Boardman has totally changed since soap stint

As most villains go, Coronation Street's Jez Quigley is one of the soap's most memorable but a lot has changed since we saw actor Lee Boardman terrorising the residents of Weatherfield.

The 50-year-old left the much-loved ITV programme behind 23 years ago now but fans haven't forgot what he got up to, or who he hurt. Lee made his first appearance on the show way back in 1997 as Jez, a gangster, drug dealer and a murderer.

We knew at the time he would be trouble, but nobody knew just how much. He looks rather different these days, worlds away from the slick show-off who caused chaos on the cobbles, infact.

He put an end to Tony Horrocks and Des Barnes, drove Leanne Battersby out of Manchester fearing for her life after getting her hooked on drugs. It all came to an end when, like all real baddies, he eventually suffered a horrible death himself. Now sporting grey hair and a bushy beard, he looks nothing like nasty piece of work Jez.

Corrie's Jez Quigley actor Lee Boardman has totally changed since soap stint eideziqkeiqhhinvJez Quigley was a killer - and he got Leanne Battersby hooked on drugs
Corrie's Jez Quigley actor Lee Boardman has totally changed since soap stintThese days, Lee is sporting grey hair and a bushy beard

Since leaving the show, Lee has stayed in TV as his career goes from strength to strength. Starring in BBC3 comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous, Trollied, Midsomer Murders and Death in Paradise, he also appeared in in Sky1 drama The Five.

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He has added voices to a number of popular games including Assassin’s Creed. In Corrie, Steve McDonald testified against him in court for Tony and Des’s murders – and Jez was found not guilty. And it seems he and Simon Gregson, who plays the Cabbie, are still buddies. Lee shared his support for Simon during I’m A Celebrity. But, their characters weren't so pally – upon not going to jail, Jez arranged for Steve to be beaten up and left for dead.

Corrie's Jez Quigley actor Lee Boardman has totally changed since soap stintHe looks different to the fresh faced criminal who rocked up over 20 years ago (Granada Television)

However, Steve’s dad Jim McDonald (Charles Lawson) decided to take the law into his own hands and attacked Jez, who later died in hospital from the injuries.

Speaking about his exit from the ITV soap, Lee previously said: "He's not the kind of character who could stay on the Street. He's too bad. I discussed Jez with the producer and asked if she'd consider killing me off. I told her to go to town on my exit."

He continued: "I always thought of Coronation Street as a shop window and never thought I'd be the kind of character who would stay around. I didn't want to get stereotyped. Also, I was worried that the character would get watered-down. I've seen it happen in other soaps – these guys come in and they are really evil but after a while there's nowhere for their character to go.

"People like Jez do exist and they never chill out or change, and I didn't want him to change on screen. I've worked so hard on him that the last thing I wanted was for him to be toned-down and end up lodging at Emily Bishop's. As an actor you can never get too comfortable. If you want a regular job you don't become an actor, and in Corrie it's easy to turn it into a regular job and just keep taking the money.

"But I've got a low boredom threshold and I constantly need to push myself. With Jez, I've created a monster but I've done as much as I can with him. It's time to move on," he added.

Sam Elliott-Gibbs

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