Coronation Street actor and lifelong fan Connor McIntyre has said he has loved playing the soap's latest villain, Pat Phelan, but that "the scary thing is he could be a real person".
In an interview with The Sunday People, the former Casualty star said: "Pat is horrible across the board."
He continued: "He is a predator, a nasty human being and, actually, I have thought that a lot, it's a horrible proposition because there are people like that."
Asked about viewers' reactions to the character, he said: "I think the general consensus is that the viewers hate Phelan. So, job done."
"They don't spit at me or shout but the viewers are very free to tell me how they feel about Phelan," said McIntyre.
"When they do I say to them, 'Yep, I'm the same. I'm with you. He's awful. He's an unpleasant man with no redeeming qualities at all'."
McIntyre added: "I love that viewers invested so much into the characters and when someone like Phelan comes in to disrupt the lives of a popular family like the Windasses, they hate him, of course they do. They form strong opinions.
"I have learned a real appreciation of the parts that Corrie plays in people's lives. I've had such a strong reaction because people genuinely care."
On the subject of Phelan's future in the soap, McIntyre said: "The guys upstairs will decide whether or not there is more to play out.
"They haven't killed him off him yet and there is always the fear he could return. I would be very happy to come back.
"He hasn't had his comeuppance, so if they want him back for anything it's to see him get his just deserts."