He is known as the core baddie Geoff Metcalf – who tormented his girlfriend with a disastrous campaign of coercive control.
But in his latest project, Ian Bartholomew is taking on a very different role.
The star of stage and screen is the driving force behind a powerful video urging “all men” to speak out against violence against women.
A line-up of 14 male actors, including Line of Duty’s Mark Bonner and The Crown’s Jason Watkins, calls on men to “challenge themselves and others to better themselves”.
Ian, 67, revealed that it was his time playing the creepy Geoff that sparked his “real anger” about the mistreatment of women.
He said: “I played that horrible man for three years and I started learning about male behavior, coercive behavior, abuse behind closed doors.
“This film is now very fitting – and it is time for a change.
“All the women who died at the hands of men this year. This is shocking. I am angry that women cannot walk on the streets without fear of attack.
The Moving All Men film stars 14 famous British actors, including Downton Abbey star Jim Carter, EastEnders actor Don Gillett and Blackadder’s Tim McInerney.
Tim argues that men should “stop pretending”, while Shetland star Bonner calls on men to “stand up against the normalization of oppression”.
They say: “All men, be part of the solution, not the problem. Women and girls stay safe indoors and out. Look after yourself, take responsibility.”
The video has been released today, just days after twisted killer cop Wayne Coogens was given a lifetime tariff for the rape and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in a fake Covid arrest this year.
How to help: You can donate here: womensaid.org.uk/donate
It also follows the murders of Biba Henry and Nicole Smallman, who were killed by 19-year-old Daniel Hussein in a park celebrating Biba’s birthday.
And more recently, the film follows the death of 28-year-old Sabina Nessa, who went missing last month while on her way to a pub near her home in south east London.
Created by Ian and his director wife Loveday Ingram for Women’s Aid, the two-minute clip is a rebuttal to the controversial “not all men” movement.
Ian said that while “not all men abuse, rape or murder women”, they “need to take responsibility for changing the behavior of those who do”.
He said: “People were using the phrase ‘not all men’ on social media and the hashtag, ‘Well, I don’t do that’.
“What do you want – a medal? If you’re a man you must take the responsibility of getting rid of this casual sexism and abusive behavior that we are all guilty of.”
Ian believes that the onus is on men to deal with the problems facing “deep-rooted” women. And he calls recent police advice for women as “nonsense” to flag off the bus when they’re concerned about an arresting officer.
He said: “The rape, harassment, abuse and murder of women is not going to stop unless men stop doing it. It’s not something that women should be thinking about. It is up to men to change that.”
Ian was instrumental in one of Coronation Street’s most dramatic stories as his character Geoff bullied his partner Yasmin Nazir. As his behavior escalated, the animal served Yasmin’s pet chicken for dinner and locked it in a box.
If you are a man then you should take the responsibility of getting rid of this casual sexuality and abusive behavior for which we are all guilty.
To prepare for the role, Ian interviewed survivors of domestic abuse.
He said: “I was shocked by the violence perpetrated by these people. It was very upsetting to go on sets every day and be that person. “
But the role forged a close relationship with the female help, who advised the writers on the basis of the plot.
Ian said: “Through the female help, I learned how to create this character, but I was also learning – as Ian – the behavior I was susceptible to.
“I’ve never done any of those horrible things. But one can remember a time when someone used to dismiss women and treat them badly.”
Farah Nazir, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “Women are experiencing extreme collective fear, so it is hoped this group of men will help drive the change we are seeking.
“Men should consider the old anti-feminist ideas. They should take the right to end violence against women and do better. Essentially, men must raise boys to respect women equally for future generations. “
8 ways men can make a difference
- We may counter the sexist behavior and sexist comments we see among friends or coworkers, rather than laughing at it as a joke.
- We can take responsibility for our male friends who are abusing or controlling in their relationships. We turn our backs saying that it is of no use to us. This is our job and we should have the courage to face it.
- We can educate young men who look up to us about domestic abuse, healthy relationships, and healthy attitudes toward women.
- We can learn what abusers do and what they don’t, so we are better able to recognize it in ourselves and in others.
- We may question whether our relationships with women are controlling, coercive, abusive and/or violent. If they are, we can take steps to deal with it.
- We may report those we report to the police for abusive or controlling behavior in acknowledgment of the fact that often women themselves do not feel capable of doing so.
- If we know the women who are being abused, we can help them gather evidence of abuse, if it can be used in court later.
- We can donate money. Life-saving domestic abuse services are severely underfunded and there is a lack of space among UK domestic abuse refugees. womensaid.org.uk/donate