Coronation Street actor Anthony Bessick banned from teaching after 'flirting' and sharing 'sexual fantasies' with schoolgirls

6 February 2023, 14:25 | Updated: 6 February 2023, 14:29

Bessick played four separate characters in hit ITV series Coronation Street, as well as ITV soaps Emmerdale and The Royal.
Bessick played four separate characters in hit ITV series Coronation Street, as well as ITV soaps Emmerdale and The Royal. Picture: ITV / Alamy / Trick Park School

By Danielle DeWolfe

A Coronation Street and Emmerdale actor has been banned from teaching for life after "acting out his sexual fantasies" with multiple schoolgirls at a renowned £39,000-a-year boarding school.

Anthony Bessick, 57, was accused of "flirting" and sharing "sexual fetishes" with the pupils during his time as a drama coach at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire.

The veteran actor, whose real name is Anthony Cooke, is best known for taking on multiple roles in long-running ITV soap Coronation Street.

He also starring in much-loved dramas including Emmerdale, Kay Mellor's The Chase and The Royal.

A renowned performing arts school for eight to 19-year-olds, recent Tring School graduates include Cinderella and Baby Driver star Lily James, Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley and X Factor singer Ella Henderson.

Following a misconduct panel hearing, Bessick has now been banned from the classroom.

Bessick played four separate characters in hit ITV series Coronation Street, as well as ITV soaps Emmerdale and The Royal.
Bessick played four separate characters in hit ITV series Coronation Street, as well as ITV soaps Emmerdale and The Royal. Picture: ITV
Tring School was formerly owned by Sir William Gore, Lord Mayor of London.
Tring School was formerly owned by Sir William Gore, Lord Mayor of London. Picture: Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

The ban follows a series of incidents - the majority of which pertain to three specific pupils, known only as Pupil A, Pupil B, and Pupil C .

Typecast as a 'bad boy', the actor played gangster Lewis Knox, a cab driver named Vernon Bradshaw, a dying hospital patient, and a fireman named Vince Lonsdale on the cobbles.

Read more: Extra divers called in to search for Nicola Bulley as images released of her latest appearance

Read more: Vigilantes try to storm Gary Glitter's bail hostel days after release mid-way through sentence

He also appeared on ITV comedy series Harry Hill's TV Burp, as part of a skit which saw him mock his character's death.

The panel heard how Bessick was involved in filmmaking with the pupils, using social media and text messages to critique performances.

However, the teacher took a particular interest in Pupil A, Pupil B, and Pupil C.

During July 2016, the actor "took Pupil A to the staff room and offered her beer from the fridge".

The incident occurred on the night of the school ball and was witnessed by a co-workers, who interrupted him.

The teaching watchdog also found Bessick to have messaged Pupil A, requesting she indulge his sexual fantasies of "being squashed", "crushed" and "sat or stood on top of".

Bessick played four separate characters in hit ITV series Coronation Street, as well as ITV soaps Emmerdale and The Royal.
Bessick played four separate characters in hit ITV series Coronation Street, as well as ITV soaps Emmerdale and The Royal. Picture: ITV

In relation to Pupil B, he texted the schoolgirl saying: "You should come down for a ghost hunting sesh. Not too bad after a few shots of voddy."

He then shared a picture of two pairs of bare legs on a bed, adding: "Uni, shmuni... can be a waste of c***ing time."

Pupil C took part in two of Bessick's productions, one in 2015 followed by another in 2018 - a point at which she was already an established actress.

Taking to Facebook to congratulate the girl, Bessick said: "I love what you did and it's sometimes hard to separate the actress from the role.

Adding: "I am saying this on FB as I would find it hard to say to you in school."

Bessick also asked her to act out one his sexual fantasies, according to Penny Griffith, chair of the Teaching Regulation Agency hearing.

She said: "Mr Cooke's conduct affected the way he fulfilled his teaching role, since he had blurred the teacher-pupil boundary and demonstrated a disregard for school policies.

"Furthermore, his actions exposed those pupils to his sexual fetishes."

After being found to have engaged in "sexually motivated conduct", Bessick was banned from teaching for life.

John Knowles, of the Education Secretary on teacher prohibition added: "The panel found that Mr Cooke was responsible for sexually motivated conduct using his position to engage with pupils and former pupils for his own sexual gratification."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A soldier is fighting for his life

British soldier fighting for life after being 'stabbed in frenzied attack outside barracks' - as man, 24, arrested

The 'crazy' welfare system needs reform, former Labour health secretary warns the Government

‘Crazy’ welfare system needs reform, Labour adviser warns Government, as he says ‘force long-term sick into work’

14 passengers made it onto a life raft

At least six dead and seven missing after fishing boat sinks 200 miles off Falkland Islands

Charlotte Dujardin, Britain's joint-most decorated female Olympian, has pulled out of Paris 2024

Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin ‘whipped horse 24 times like an elephant in the circus’, claims lawyer

Roberta Taylor was diagnosed with pneumonia after a fall two months ago

EastEnders and The Bill star Roberta Taylor dies aged 76 from infection caused by fall

Kamala Harris raises her arms against a backdrop of US flags

Kamala Harris kicks off campaign for US president with rally in Wisconsin

A line of traffic against a red background

Wildfires send thousands fleeing from Canadian Rockies’ national park

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly has announced he will stand in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly announces Tory leadership bid

Kamala Harris

‘A fight for the future’: Kamala Harris vows to take on Donald Trump’s ‘extremist’ agenda in first campaign rally speech

Police help a man out of a police vehicle

Man faces murder charges after mass shooting in Croatia nursing home

Labour has seen off a potential rebellion on the two-child benefit cap

Keir Starmer suspends seven rebel Labour MPs who voted to get rid of two-child benefit cap

Spain and Manchester City star Rodri has been charged by UEFA after he chanted about Gibraltar during a Euro 2024 victory event.

Manchester City star Rodri charged by UEFA over Gibraltar chants during EURO 2024 celebrations

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware

Joe Biden seen for first time since quitting presidential race as Democrats rally behind Kamala Harris

Robert Hammond, 47, faced a "surging mountain of debt and financial pressures"

Mortgage broker who murdered his wife to cash in on her life insurance and pay off £300,000 debt jailed for 24 years

Exclusive
Michael Marmot said the cap was 'almost a form of eugenics'

Two-child benefit cap amounts to eugenics, public health expert claims ahead of MPs' vote

nna Holland and Phoebe Plummer are accused of throwing two cans of soup at the legendary painting

Tomato soup acted 'like paint stripper' in Just Stop Oil Van Gogh protest, court hears