Kevin Kennedy feared he would die from addiction
- Bang Showbiz
- 28 October 2013
Former 'Coronation Street' actor Kevin Kennedy has opened up about his battle with drink and drugs addiction, revealing he once "saw the devil" by his hospital bedside
Kevin Kennedy "saw the devil" by his hospital bedside in the grip of drink and drugs addiction.
The former 'Coronation Street' star - who played supermarket assistant Curly Watts in the ITV soap for 20 years - was given the ultimatum from doctors, "Stop drinking - or prepare to die," and admits he hit rock bottom after years of boozing and drug use. Bosses wrote him out of the show in August 1998 and sent him to rehab on the back of a cocaine and vodka binge.
He arrived at the Priory Hospital in north London and was faced with terrifying hallucinations.
Kevin, 52, told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "The next thing I knew I was awake and staring at the foot of the bed.
"I saw the devil's hands, elongated and twisted reaching up from below and trying to grab my feet.
"The nurse gave me lithium and I was able to lie back again.
"That moment, the feeling of being terrified by the devil himself, was a terror that shocked me more than I'd thought possible.
"I knew I'd reached the end, one way or another - I just didn't know what the end was.
"My old friend Kevin Lloyd of 'The Bill', had died three and a half months ago when he had choked on his own vomit. Nobody wanted the same thing to happen to me."
The 'Corrie' legend "sank into oblivion" and thought he would never work again but said the soap's bosses saved his life.
His alcoholism led to the breakdown of his marriage to his first wife Dawn, then his second wife Clare left him.
The actor admits he used to drink vodka before shooting the soap and drank more by 4pm.
At its worst, he once woke up in New York unaware that he had flown there from Manchester.
Kevin - who tells of the experience in his upcoming autobiography, 'The Street To Recovery' - started to attend regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
After a break from acting, he launched a career as a musician and released an album, 'Bulldog Nation', in 2000.
He later returned to Weatherfield but left again three years later.
The actor has now been clean for 15 years and managed to win back wife Clare.
In 2010, Kevin joined the West End production of 'We Will Rock You', while he had a meeting with a 'Coronation Street' producer earlier this year about a possible return to the soap.
He explained: "I would love to go back. I'm having an affair with theatre but I'm married to 'Coronation Street'. I can't bear to watch the show. It is heart rendering."