Ex Corrie star Julie Hesmondhalgh: ‘When Shane Richie stares deep into your eyes, it’s hard to resist!’

Coronation Street and EastEnders meet when characters played by Julie Hesmondhalgh (Weatherfield’s Hayley Cropper) and Shane Richie (Walford’s Alfie Moon) become romantically involved in a new series of BBC1’s Moving On.

The soap legends are on screen together in Taxi For Linda (Monday, 9.15am, BBC1) and Julie told What’s On TV just how lovely she found it working with Shane…

This is the seventh series of Moving On which always has a great cast. Your episode also stars John Thomson and Shane Richie, was it fun to work with them?
“John and Shane were lovely and we had such a nice time doing this. We all got on like a house on fire, it was one of those joyful little jobs. I’d seen the previous series of Moving On as most of my mates have been in it at some point.”

Tell us about your characters in Taxi For Linda?
“I play Linda, John plays Frank and we’re really good friends who work in a cab office together. But Linda ends up being the object of two men’s affections when cab driver Terry rocks up and asks her out! I was like, ‘Oh yes, I’ll have a bit of that!'”

So Frank is secretly in love with Linda, but does she just see him as a friend?
“She does and what I like about it is that the ending is a little bit ambiguous. It’s a lovely part and so well written. The writer Jo worked in a taxi rank so it was very much drawn from experience. There’s a lot of wit in it, a lot of character.”

Shane Richie plays cab driver Terry who’s very full of himself and calls her Hot Lips!
“Yes, Terry comes and goes as a visiting cab driver and Linda’s always had a thing for him. I mean who wouldn’t? I tell you, when Shane Richie stares deep into your eyes, it’s very hard to resist!”

Terry and Linda end up dating, but is it actually her car he’s interested in?
“Yes! He’s had his car repossessed and wants to borrow Linda’s for work! I can’t imagine that Linda is the first woman he’s taken in and I doubt she’ll be the last. But I like to think that Terry did actually quite like her as well. I think he regrets the way it turns out in the end.”

There’s a great, friendly atmosphere in the Kwiker Kabs office, isn’t there?
“The set was fantastic – the designer did such a good job, it really felt like a cab office. Linda is the controller and she can handle all the drivers. You’d have to be quite tough in that job. I also liked the fact that it wasn’t a nice, neat storyline, there’s a lot of disappointment in it.”

So Terry turns out to be dodgy, then?
“It’s safe to say he’s not all that he seems. He got her to go out with him by offering to fix her tyre, but that flat tyre was a bit convenient, if you ask me!”

Are you pleased with the TV work you’ve done since Coronation Street?
“Because Corrie is so well written, I’ve tried to follow the writing and go for scripts that are interesting with good characters. And it’s worked out so far for me. I loved doing Cucumber and I’ve just filmed Happy Valley, which is amazing, but we’ll see what else comes up!”

Moving On: Taxi For Linda is on Monday, February 22 at 9.15am

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