PHOTOGRAPHERS had the chance to pap a bonafide star of the stage and screen last week when Bill Ward rocked up at a Wyedean camera club. 

Unfortunately for heavy metal fans it wasn’t the legendary Black Sabbath drummer of the same name, but rather the former Corrie and Emmerdale actor who dropped in to give a talk to Forest of Dean Camera Club members at Viney Hill Sports & Social Club. 

Bill, who is best known for playing rogue builder Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street from 2003 to 2007 and James Barton in Emmerdale from 2013 to 2016, is also an award-winning landscape photographer.

His biggest accolades include being named the Adobe Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2015, and winning ‘Best Seascape’ in the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2020.

Camera Club member Alan Waterman explained that Bill had previously given a “very interesting” talk for club members during Covid via Zoom about camera movement.

Alan said of his visit this week: “Bill provided the audience of over 50 members with a thoroughly entertaining evening which obviously covered some of his acting career but was full of stunning landscape photographs. 

“He explained that he was bought up in Newcastle, which is surrounded on three sides by water - the North Sea, the Tyne and the Lake District - so most of his photos have some aspect of water in them.

“He also said that at Christmas his daughter had bought home a personality assessment game and that he came out of it 50% extrovert and 50% introvert which he thought summed up his life, half the time it is the razzamatazz of show business and then he liked to retreat into the countryside with a camera and sort of return to his real personality of Bill Ward and leave behind the fictional personalities that he as an actor creates.

“He explained that the acting lifestyle meant that he visited lots of places and that he was working mostly in the evenings so during the day there was time to get out and take photographs. 

“His photos were much admired by the audience and provoked lots of questions, many of us would have been happy to produce just one or two of the quality and interest that he achieved in photo after photo.

"Bill was very happy to talk and share techniques with members both before the presentation and at half time and the end.”

Bill, who has starred in countless other TV programmes including The Bill, Heartbeat, Vera, and Silent Witness, is currently on tour of the UK in a stage version of The Full Monty, playing the character Gerald.

Alan added: “I had a bit of a chat with him about his present Fully Monty tour which he explained was quite different to the film, he said that they had all watched the film several times but that you can’t and should not try to recreate it on stage, and this was quite new.

“I had to ask the question is it the ‘FULL’ monty? He smiled and with a twinkle in his eye he said the best way to find out is to come along to a show and see for yourself. It was the answer I expected him to say.

"A brilliant evening and much appreciated by all the members.”