ITV Corries Les Battersby star now including Yorkshire Ripper investigation that ended marriage

The actor who played Les Battersby in Coronation Street, Bruce Jones, has had quite a journey since his time on the soap; from being homeless and battling alcohol addiction to landing roles in Hollywood, he's seen it all over the years.

On the show, Les Battersby and his family were notorious for causing chaos on the cobbled streets of Weatherfield, but they quickly became soap legends when they burst onto our screens back in 1997.

Coronation Street fans were initially hooked by Les and Battersby matriarch, Janice's love story, with the couple having their fair share of drama before she left him for his friend Dennis Stringer.

But Les didn't stay single for long, forming a new family unit with barmaid Cilla Brown, her son Chesney, and of course, their beloved pet dog Schmeichel.

One unforgettable moment in particular came in 2014 when Les and Cilla were trying to enjoy a romantic evening in their hot tub upstairs and Schmeichel decided to join them in the water. The result? The whole bathtub collapsed through to the floor. But despite the chaos, Les remains a beloved Coronation Street icon.

While Les Battersby may have been the talk of Coronation Street, the actor who played him, Bruce Jones, was battling his own demons behind the scenes, reports the Mirror.

In a shocking revelation, Bruce revealed that his troubles began long before he set foot on the soap opera's set, back in 1977.

While still a young man, Bruce was dragged into the Yorkshire Rippers murders, which led to a police investigation that ultimately ended his marriage.

The soap star found the body of the Ripper's victim, Jean Jordan, in 1977. Peter Sutcliffe was later found to be the one who brutally murdered the 20 year old and dumped her body on an allotment in Manchester.

Despite only finding her body, Bruce was immediately suspected of being the killer – something he said had a lasting impact on his mental health and led to the breakdown of his marriage.

He told the Mirror in 2013: "I lost my first marriage, my children. I lost everything because of that. It actually destroyed me to learn that people can do that to a human being. I had nightmares."

In March 2007, the actor was suspended from the hit soap opera after reportedly getting drunk with an undercover journalist. This incident led to Bruce revealing future storylines on the show and making inappropriate comments.

His exit from the show was confirmed in May that year, with his contract expiring in September. Fans of the show were left wondering what would become of Les Battersby, Bruce's character, who never received an on-screen exit storyline.

According to stepson Chesney, Les is alive and well, living in Dublin and working as a roadie with an Irish tribute band.

After leaving Corrie, Bruce tried his luck with stand-up comedy in Benidorm and even appeared on reality TV shows like Celebrity Wife Swap with singer Sinitta. But it was his stint on the BBC One show Famous, Rich and Homeless in 2009 that hinted at his future struggles.

It was a shock to learn that the beloved actor had spent all of his £1,000,000 fortune and hadn't received any work offers since his last appearance on Coronation Street two years earlier. Reports surfaced that he was living alone in a caravan in North Wales in May 2010 and had lost his £500,000 Cheshire house due to missed payments.

However, things started to improve for Bruce when he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and earned £15,000. He also opened up about his battles with alcoholism and debt on Channel 5's Celebs on Benefits: Fame to Claim.

In 2013, Bruce opened up about his struggles with alcohol and mental health issues, which started during his time on the ITV soap. He confessed to the Mirror: "There were times I didn't want to be in the dressing room, I just wanted to go home. I was suffering depression but didn't realise I was ill. It's a terrible disease. You don't know you've got it, but it's got you. Basically, I was schizophrenic. My only defence was that I was an actor."

Despite the tough times and rocky few years since leaving the show, there was a bright spot – his friendship with co-star Vicky Entwistle, who played his first on-screen wife Janice.

Bruce shared how Vicky supported him through some of his darkest moments. Things are definitely looking better for Bruce now. He recently bagged a role in the upcoming spy thriller Cold Sun, where he'll be playing Colin Rye alongside Hollywood star Tara Reid.

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