Ryan Thomas: Ex-Coronation Street star career that took him to the Games

Former Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas is one of 10 celebrities to compete at the ITV Games. The reality sports show, airing this week, sees contestants test themselves in a range of Olympic-style events such as weightlifting and track and field.

The 37-year-old star got fans talking after revealing his ripped new physique ahead of the show. The series is hosted by This Morning’s Holly Willoughby and former England cricket star turned TV presenter Freddie Flintoff.

He followed 12 weeks of strict diets and intensive training. The “before and after” photographs were shared on Instagram by Michael Evans Fitness.

READ MORE: Where is Holly Willoughby and why isn’t she presenting ITV’s This Morning?

Thomas, originally from Manchester, is best known for playing the character Jason Grimshaw in Coronation Street. He was just 16 when he was cast in the role, and it was the one he played for 16 years until he left the TV series in 2016.

In 2012, he took part in the television documentary Corrie Goes to Kenya, along with several of his co-stars at the time. He would have credited the experience with changing him as a person – helping him realize all that he had going for him in his life.

After leaving Coronation Street, he joined the cast of the now defunct Australian soap opera Neighbors in 2018, where he played the role of Rafael Humphreys.

Ryan Thomas wowed fans with his new ripped body

He also appeared in panto, playing Prince Charming in a Wyvern Theater production of Cinderella, and played Captain Hook in Peter Pan at Venue Cymru. Other roles included the role of Dick Whittington at the Grand Theater in Wolverhampton.

Thomas, however, announced that he was quitting his acting career in 2021. Speaking at the time, he explained that he had “lost the virus” for the profession. It wasn’t the end for the Mancunian on our television screens, and he continued to appear on Celebrity Big Brother.

In fact, he won the twenty-second and final series of the British reality TV series in 2018. Appearances on TV programs such as This Morning, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and Absolutely India: Mancs in Mumbai followed.

Lucy Mecklenburg
Ryan Thomas’ partner Lucy Mecklenburgh

An argument with fellow Celebrity Big Brother contestant, actress Roxanne Pallett, in which it was claimed he punched her, led to a warning from producers. More than 11,000 viewers also complained to Ofcom about the incident, despite footage showing no physical contact was made.

Thomas has mixed English, Indian and Caribbean ancestry. Absolutely India saw him explore his roots in India, where his paternal grandfather grew up in Mumbai before emigrating to Manchester in 1947.

He also has two well-known brothers. Actor Adam Thomas starred in the television drama Waterloo Road and also Emmerdale. His other brother Scott, meanwhile, was a contestant on Love Island.

Thomas has a daughter from a six-year relationship with his former Coronation Street co-star Tina O’Brien, which ended in 2009. He is engaged to reality TV series star Lucy Mecklenburgh TOWIE. The couple met on Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and had a child together.

Speaking about why he signed up for the Games, he said: “I think it’s an amazing opportunity to get motivated, to focus, to stay mentally and physically fit, to meet new people and learning new skills is my comfort zone, which is why we’re all here I think.”

The Games started on Monday 9 May. The next episode is on ITV tonight (Tuesday May 10) from 9-10.15pm.

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