Rob Mallard, 27, experienced first hand what happens when an actor’s personal life spills out into the public domain.
The actor, who joined Coronation Street back in 2016, received a backlash on social media after appearing on This Morning last year.
Viewers criticised his conduct on the show, commenting on his shaking and accusing the star of being drunk.
The reaction prompted Mallard to return to This Morning two months later to set the record straight about his health condition.
The soap star revealed his shaking was a symptom of a chronic health condition he’s been living with for a decade known as essential tremor.
An essential tremor is a neurological condition that causes an uncontrollable shake in a part of the body.
He explained he had felt “exposed” and “embarrassed” after viewers had commented on his appearance last time he was on the show – but now hoped in talking about it he could raise awareness and help others to come forward.
He said: “It’s nearly ten years I’ve been aware of it now, my solution to it was to hide and manage, because of the job that I’m in it could really have a detrimental effect on my ability to get cast.
“It was something I tried to keep a lid on.
“But once it was exposed live on TV, at first I was incredibly embarrassed, incredibly embarrassed, and then angry, and then I started getting lots of messages off people on Twitter saying ‘me too’.
“So I thought well there’s been an unnecessary spotlight that’s been thrown on me here, and instead of just leaving it and letting it pass me by I can instead redirect it onto something useful.”
Although the symptoms mostly affect his hands, the tv star acknowledges the condition may progress to other parts of the body: “By the time I’m 50 it could well be in the voice box and back of the spine.”
To hide his involuntary shaking on Coronation Street, the actor said he uses as many props as possible.
But the ITV soap has helped Rob with his condition. He said: “They’re great with me.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, essential tremor isn’t life-threatening, but symptoms often worsen over time.
If the tremors become severe, a person might find it difficult to:
- Hold a cup or glass without spilling
- Eat normally
- Put on makeup or shave
- Talk, if their voice box or tongue is affected
- Write legibly
Who is at risk?
According to the health body: “About half of essential tremor cases appear to result from a genetic mutation. This form is referred to as familial tremor.”
A defective gene from just one parent is needed to pass on the condition, the health site noted.
“If you have a parent with a genetic mutation for essential tremor, you have a 50 per cent chance of developing the disorder yourself,” added the health body.
Age may also raise a person’s risk of developing an essential tremor. The condition is more common in people age 40 or older, it said.