Finding Alice: Did Graham actor Graeme Hawley play John Stape in Corrie

Finding Alice: Graham actor Graeme Hawley did play in John Stape in Coronation Street!

Soap viewers remember actor as one of Corrie's most notorious villains

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Finding Alice actor Graeme Hawley who plays mild-mannered Graham famously played serial killer John Stape in Corrie!

The 47-year-old actor plays accountant Graham Napely, a member of Nathan’s bereavement group.

Graham lost his wife a year previously and is adapting to life as a single parent.

He is also looking to meet women again and it seems like he has Alice Dillon – played by Keeley Hawes – in his sights.

Actor Graeme Hawley stars in Finding Alice in an all-star cast (Credit: ITV)

However, his emotions are complicated and could work against their chances of getting together.

ITV describes his character on Finding Alice as “good looking, single and keen to get back on the dating scene”.

As Graham’s feelings grow stronger, he becomes less caring.

It adds: “He soon develops a soft spot for Alice, but as Graham’s feelings grow stronger, he becomes less caring, more insistent, and runs the risk of pushing Alice away altogether.”

But where else might you have seen Graeme on TV?

Graeme Hawley as Graham Napely in Finding Alice
Graeme Hawley as Graham Napely (Credit: ITV)

What other shows has Finding Alice star Graeme Hawley been cast in?

Graeme is probably best know for playing John Stape in Coronation Street.

But he also starred as Nigel Hughes in Home Fires, Martin Paradise in Love & Marriage and Dan in National Treasure.

He also played Niall Devlin in Peaky Blinders.

And Graeme has also made acting appearances in Father Brown, Honour, and Benidorm.

Graeme Hawley appeared on Lorraine
Graeme Hawley left Corrie in 2011 (Credit:

How long did Graeme play John Stape?

Graeme played John Stape for four years between 2007 and 2011. His antics saw him nominated for Villain of the Year at the British Soap Awards 2009.

Introduced to Corrie as a teacher of English and tutor to Sally Webster, John also worked in the cafe, as a cab driver and as a bookie in Weatherfield.

Read more: Is Finding Alice a dark comedy and what else has writer Simon Nye penned?

He had an affair with Sally’s teenage daughter Rosie while dating Fiz Brown. But she thought he was two-timing her with Sally.

Horrifyingly, he later kidnapped Rosie for five weeks before Fiz rescued her.

John was eventually sentenced to two years in prison – but his time inside did not rehabilitate him.

John Stape was married to Fiz (Credit: ITV)

What happened after John Stape was released from prison?

John and Fiz reconciled during his conviction, and even married during his time behind bars.

However, employment became difficult with his criminal record. And so John assumed the identity of former teaching colleague Colin Fishwick who was retiring and emigrating to Canada.

Read more: Finding Alice: New Keeley Hawes drama divides viewers as some switch off after one episode

Unfortunately for John’s plans, Colin returned from Canada and confronted him. And during their clash, Colin died of a brain haemorrhage.

Instead of going to the police, John disposed of the body in Underworld. This incident proved to be only the first of John’s experiences with dead bodies.

Graeme Hawley at the Edinburgh International Film Festival Closing Gala
Graeme Hawley at the Edinburgh International Film Festival Closing Gala (Credit: SpashNews)

How many characters did John kill?

Technically, John did not kill anyone in Coronation Street. But his actions did have a hand in the death of three characters, including that of Colin Fishwick, his former colleague.

Colin’s mother Joy died after John confessed to her how her son died. The shock worsened her angina and John may have caused her death as he placed a hand over her mouth. He did this during her heart problems because there was a visitor at the front door and John was trying to muffle Joy calling out. It was left ambiguous whether John directly murdered Joy.

But John was also on hand when his stalker Charlotte – who blackmailed him over assuming Colin’s identity – died.

He hit her with a hammer, but she survived that initial blow. Simultaneously, there was a tram crash in Weatherfield and John positioned Charlotte’s body to make it appear she was a crash victim.

She then fell into a coma and John was in the hospital room as her parents decided Charlotte’s life support should be removed.

What a baddie!


Finding Alice airs on ITV, tonight (February 7), at 9pm.

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer