David Neilson has played the legendary character for 27 years but was only meant to appear in six episodes
Actor David Neilson’s on-screen persona, Roy Cropper, has become synonymous with him ever since he made his screen debut back in July 1995.
The awkward character who carries the shopping bags first appeared in a supporting role before switching to a main one in 1997. Roy first began working at Jim’s Café in Rosamund Street; however, after a year, he purchased Alma Baldwin’s majority stake in the company and changed its name to Roy’s Rolls, according to the MEN.
David had a few other TV roles before joining Corrie, and in 1991 he even made an appearance on the BBC soap opera EastEnders. In August of that year, he made his Walford debut, playing the part of Mr. Webster, who showed up at Nick Cotton’s house with the intention of purchasing it.
David was a completely different person from how his fans now recognize him, speaking with a cockney accent and wearing his dark hair pulled back. Along with these shows, David also made appearances in Heartbeat, Casualty, Blue Heaven by Frank Skinner, and Young at Heart.
David worked at a variety of jobs before becoming well-known on television. He dropped out of school at the young age of 15, then went on to Central School of Speech and Drama. He worked a variety of jobs, including those of a plumber and gas fitter, to pay for his education in London.
David said in a 1996 interview with Mike Plowman: “I’ve held jobs as a bartender, ice cream salesperson, plumber, gas fitter, and plumber. Since I started acting, I have also worked as a theatre director, a playwright, and a drama teacher at RADA, Central, and Rose Bruford.”
And through it all, David has had a special companion by his side. The Loughborough-born soap opera star and Jane Neilson have been wed for roughly 47 years. Daniel, the son of the couple, is a grandfather to two grandchildren.
The one item that hasn’t frequently left Roy’s side is his dependable shopping bag. Roy has been a part of several significant storylines and has become well-known to viewers for a variety of reasons.
And it turns out that David has a significant secret that he keeps close to him while filming and that is kept in his recognizable bag.
For a personal reason, David brought the bag to the set. It actually belonged to his late mother, who passed away not long before he accepted the role that would define his career in the 1990s.
He previously told the Mirror that the bag spent many years being used around Loughborough Market. It will soon turn 30 years old. Just before I started on the show, my mother passed away, so I was throwing things out and thought Roy might like them.
“He would frequently knock on Deirdre’s door to see if she needed a little shopping, and at first they would give me a bag. But I thought I’d introduce it because you see guys with bags like that standing at bus stops. It comes in very handy for me to transport my scripts around.”
And some viewers might not be aware that David was only initially contracted to play Roy for six episodes, despite being one of the soap opera’s long-running characters! In 2009, he stated to the Mirror: “Roy exhibited psychopathy. He was a little unnerving as he followed Deirdre. Playing psychos is fun, but they don’t stick around for very long.”
“My wife is a special needs teacher and she worked with autistic people,” David continued. She suggested that Asperger’s syndrome might make Roy socially awkward rather than threatening. In 1995, no one really understood what Asperger’s was, so I owe it to my wife.
Despite the fact that Roy is a human being and a label doesn’t help him, it is never mentioned in the narrative, and it shouldn’t be. However, I believe he has it. He has an explanation for his actions, and I have a game to play. I like quirky personalities, and Roy is full of them.
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