Emmerdale’s newest star Denise Black has admitted she was broke when she left Coronation Street and found it tough to get work afterwards.

Denise, 55, starred as Denise Osbourne in the ITV soap but told The Sun when she left the cobbles the work dried up.

She said of her new role as Joanie Wright, the adoptive grandma of Amy Wyatt’s son Kyle, in Emmerdale: “If I don’t work I can’t pay the bills and I didn’t work after Corrie – I was broke. I wasn’t bombarded with work and although I did get offered some big stage shows, I wanted to be a mum as well, so I turned them down.”

But the actress said she didn’t regret choosing family over work: “I wanted to be there to see my kids through school and exams. I even turned down a role on Broadway to be at home.”

Denise revealed she had ended up taking on some unusual jobs in her time away from soap.

She said: “I ended up doing some amazing things. I spent my 50th birthday doing a play in Wandsworth Prison. There was a moment where I thought: ‘This really is a strange way to make a living.'”

Denise, who returned to Corrie briefly in 2007, said she hadn’t been happy with the performance she gave.

She said: “When I watched it, I was disappointed in my own performance. I wish I could have gone back and done it again better. Corrie was such an important part of my life and career. It launched me and I wanted to do it justice.”