Tony Hirst

Anthony Hirst (born 21 January 1967) is a British actor, theatre director and narrator best known for playing Mike Barnes on the soap opera Hollyoaks and in Coronation Street as Paul Kershaw, the love interest of Eileen Grimshaw. Hirst also narrates the UK version of How It's Made, shown on Quest and the Discovery channels, and various programmes for Channel 4.

Tony Hirst
Tony Hirst - 01.png
Hirst in the short film Pickpocket
Anthony Hirst

(1967-01-21) 21 January 1967 (age 54)
OccupationActor, theatre director and narrator
Years active1991–present
Known forHow it's Made (2001–present)
Hollyoaks (2006–2010, 2016–2017)
Coronation Street (2010–2013)
Benefits Street (2014–2015)
Partner(s)Sue Hirst
Children2 (inc. Kate Colgrave Pope)


Hirst's acting roles include Mike Barnes from Hollyoaks,[1] Martin Gooch from The Ghost Squad and Steve Kingsley from Holby City. He has narrated TV documentaries such as Blueprint for Disaster, 2005, The Garage, Smash Lab, and How It's Made since 2001. He also narrates some of the programme trailers on Fox and Channel 4.[citation needed] Hirst appeared as a fireman called Paul on Coronation Street during the show's 50th anniversary in December 2010. Paul returned to Coronation Street as a regular character during October 2011.[citation needed] It was revealed on 24 February 2013 that Hirst would be leaving Coronation Street in 2013 at the end of his contract.[2] In 2014, Tony Hirst narrated two seasons of Food Factory and in 2015 narrated season 1 of Home Factory both on Discovery science.

Other TV appearancesEdit

Hirst appeared on Ready Steady Cook, on BBC Two on 5 March 2008, and lost to Zoë Lister, who played Zoe Carpenter in Hollyoaks. He played the part of Rom, a Roman man, on CBBC children's history programme The Romans in Britain shown on BBC2 and "Uncle Jake" in the BBC children's programme "The World Around Us". He played the part of a policeman in the first series of the Channel 4 show Shameless. He appeared on the Channel 4 show No Angels as an "ambulance chaser" in the first series.

Hirst narrates Benefits Street and the UK versions of Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs and How It's Made on Discovery channels. Hirst portrays a man sent back from the future to warn of an impending alien invasion in an ad being aired on Discovery Science to promote their Out of this World campaign.


Hirst produced two one-man shows touring the UK during the summer and autumn 2008, including four weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The first play "Wombman", written and performed by Ricky Payne, which Hirst also directed and the second "Wacker Murphy's Bad Buzz" written and performed by Edwin Mullane.

Personal lifeEdit

Hirst lives with partner Sue Colgrave and they have two children, actress Kate Colgrave Pope and a son Jack.[3] Hirst has an MSA Competition Licence and competed in the 2012 Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge race.[4]


  1. ^ "Tony Hirst reprising Hollyoaks role after Corrie exit". Digital Spy. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Coronation Street: fireman Paul Kershaw to exit soap". Radio Times. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Zoe Lister and Tony Hirst". OK! Magazine. 26 August 2009. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Silverstone Classic 2012: Celebrity race". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 September 2017.

External linksEdit