Shaun Williamson’s secret son Gary has joked that he preferred rival soap Coronation Street to his dad’s show EastEnders before learning of their relation.
While appearing together on Loose Women on Friday, the actor, 54, and his eldest child, 32, chatted about how they connected with each other.
When asked if he’d grown up seeing Shaun as Barry on EastEnders, Gary hilariously replied: ‘I was always more of a Coronation Street fan myself.’
Joker! Shaun Williamson’s secret son Gary (right) hilariously revealed he was ‘more of a Coronation Street fan’, preferring the soap to his dad’s show EastEnders, while appearing on Loose Women on Friday
The Loose Women panel burst out laughing as Gary continued to explain how he was aware of Shaun, with him previously saying he ‘admired’ the actor on Extras.
Shaun, who talks about discovering he had a son in his book A Matter of Facts, also explained a little about what happened between himself and Gary’s mother.
He said: ‘I went to America, said I’ll do what I can when I come back, but I had to go for work. When i got back she’d got together with another gentleman and they’d decided to raise Gary as their own.’
The Loose Women panel, which included Stacey Solomon on Friday, then asked Gary what he knew as a child and if he was aware of his connection to Shaun.
Surprise: The former EastEnders actor (pictured on Loose Women) explained how he was unaware of his son, who he fathered with a circus juggler, until receiving an email in 2013
He replied: ‘I thought the other fella was my father until the age of 26 so you can imagine that being a discovery that happens to you at that age being mind-blowing.
‘It was complicated, there was lots of personal circumstances that lead to it being put off and put off and we had some tragedy around the age of 16 and it never felt like the right time.
‘Eventually my sister found out and said “enough is enough, it’s about time to give Gary the opportunity to connect with his roots and find out where he comes from”.’
Shaun finally connected with his son, who was living in Northern Ireland, in 2013 after being sent an email.
Entertained: The panel, which included Kaye Adams, Judi Love, Nadia Sawalha, and Stacey Solomon, were left giggling after Gary’s joke about being more of a Corrie fan
Gary has previously admitted that the news of who his father was came as a shock, especially as he had ‘admired’ the actor from his role in Ricky Gervais’ sitcom Extras.
Writing in his dad’s book, Gary said: ‘Me and my mates had even planned to go and see him when he was in a show at the Belfast Opera House some years before, so that we could meet him afterwards. How weird would that have been?’
It was revealed last week how Shaun – who played Barry in EastEnders for a decade before being killed off in 2004 – fathered Gary with a circus juggler more than 30 years ago.
The actor, who also has a daughter Sophie, 22, and son Joseph, 20 with ex-wife Melanie Sacre, said the revelation was ‘the most frightening but amazing discovery’.
Iconic: Shaun became a household name thanks to his role as Barry Evans on EastEnders, his character was dramatically killed off (pictured) by the evil Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) in 2004 after ten years on the soap
Shock: Gary also said discovering his father was Shaun at the age of 26 was ‘mind-blowing’
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Shaun said: ‘When I found out I had another son, I was stunned. I was shaking when I went to meet him.’
The actor added: ‘He said he never thought in a million years that Barry from EastEnders could be his dad.’
The Celebrity Big Brother star told how he met Gary’s mother, who remains anonymous, when he was working as a barman in 1987 aged 22.
Shaun described how he was ‘blown away’ by the circus juggler and the pair went onto get engaged after six months despite having a ‘fiery relationship’.
Father and son: Shaun met his long-lost son Gary in a hotel in Belfast in 2013 and described how the pair ‘hit it off’ from the start (pictured together in 2018)
The star ended the relationship as he took up a job as a Pontin’s Bluecoat before he was told by his ex-fianceé that she was pregnant.
However she later explained to her ex Shaun that her landlord’s son was in fact the father and his name would be on the birth certificate.
In 2013 the former postman received an email out-of-the-blue stating it was ‘Gary’ from his ‘circus days’.
The Extras star sent a paternity test to a centre in Canada which confirmed that he was his biological son with Shaun describing how it all ‘fell into place’.
Shaun met his long-lost son Gary in a hotel in Belfast and described how the pair ‘hit it off’ from the start.
He said: ‘It was a surreal experience. I could immediately see the similarity. We hit it off straight away.’
Shaun became a household name thanks to his role as Barry Evans on EastEnders from 1994 until 2004. His character was dramatically killed off by the evil Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks).
The actor has gone on to appear on the likes of current programme Mister Winner, Ricky Gervais’ Extras and Scoop.
While in 2017, he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and joked as he entered the house that he would have ‘Barry from EastEnders’ written on his gravestone.
Acting star: Gary said he already ‘admired’ his dad (middle) after watching him in sitcom Extras alongside Ricky Gervais (right) and Stephen Merchant (left)