Coronation Street star Charlie Condou had two children with a female friend via IVF, Red Magazine reports.
The 40 year-old actor, who is gay, plays Marcus Dent in the long-running soap opera. According to the magazine, he made a pact with a heterosexual female friend called Catherine Kanter that they would have children together if she reached the age of 40 without finding ‘Mr Right’.
He told the magazine: “I always wanted to be a dad. When I came out to my parents as a teenager, their only concern was I might never be a father and they knew how much I wanted to be.”
The actor added:
“Catherine and I had the conversation I’m sure thousands of women have with their gay friends, a sort of plan-B pact – to have a child together should Mr Right not appear. I’d had other female friends ask me and it never felt right. But with Catherine it did.”
His friend began IVF but only fell pregnant after a year, during the fourth round of treatment. Their eldest child, Georgia, is now four, and Ms Kanter has since gone to have a second child, Hal, now two.
Canter, an actress, shares responsibility for the two children with Condou and his partner, 49 year-old Cameron Laux.
“I was never one of those women who saw a baby and thought “I want one”, but I also knew I didn’t want to not have children. When Charlie first brought up the subject of having kids together I wasn’t opposed to the idea, but it wasn’t how I wanted to do it.”
“I still had hopes of The One appearing in a shaft of light and told Charlie to come back when I was 40. Then I turned 40 and Mr Right still hadn’t materialised, so it started to take on more meaning. I couldn’t shake the fear that I might hit 50 and regret not trying. We had both been single when we discussed this, but then Charlie started seeing Cam. It was clear if we were to go ahead, Cam would need to be involved. And so there were three.”
Condou said both families had been supportive of he decision. Kanter’s father had been influenced by hearing a similar story on The Archers, he claimed.
“Something I realised early on is that I’ll never be the one who feels compromised: I’m in a relationship with Cameron and I’m the biological parent with Catherine, so my position is clear. Catherine is single, so she doesn’t have someone to talk to about the kids in the way Cam and I do.”
The trio moved in together for a period but now live separately in north London. The children divide their time between the two nearby homes.
Charlie Condou sees the arrangement as almost like a marriage involving three people. “Or at least it’s like a friendly divorce, where the kids split their time between two homes! It works well, though.”