TV Times talks to Coronation Street‘s Toxic Tracy, Kate Ford about combining motherhood with a return to the Street…

Are you pleased to be back at Coronatin Street?
“Yes. What I always wanted to do when I left was dip in and out the show and it was just finding the right time to do it. When I left I didn’t expect to have a baby, it wasn’t in my plans at the time, but actually it was the best thing I’ve ever done. That’s the direction my life went in and it’s fantastic.”

How did you feel on your first day back on the cobbles?
“I was nervous going back as Tracy because I love her and had invested so much in the character first time round and I feel like I owe it to her to keep her alive. I’m so proud to be a part of Corrie. When I wasn’t in it, 7.30pm was just after bath time and I’d watch it and think, ‘I can’t believe I used to be in it, this is really good!'”

So coping with work and a young child was fine?
“I thought it might have been harder to go from being at home with the baby to going back to work, but it’s almost as if it hasn’t been three years, it’s just been three months. Because I was there for so long, and formed strong bonds, it’s like with good friends – you don’t see them for a while but you slip back into it when you do.”

Was there anyone in particular you were glad to see?
“Shobna Gulati, who plays Sunita. What was really exciting and what was part of the pull of my going back was to be with her. We’ve been hanging out anyway – she’ll pop in to see me when she’s in London as she lives up North with her son. But we hadn’t seen each other for a while.”

And there are several other cast members with young children?
“That’s what I found when we were filming Blanche’s funeral, me, Julia Haworth (Claire Peacock) and Jane Danson (Leanne Battersby) would have our lunch and then realise that we hadn’t talked about anything but children! Obviously we’ve got so many stories to share with each other.”

How has it been commuting between London and Manchester?
“Sometimes I’ve been filming two days a week, other weeks, four days, but I’ve had chance to be at home and it’s been nice and relaxed and I’ve just really enjoyed it. Because I know everyone it wasn’t as scary as it could have been on another job. Coronation Street is a nice place to work!”

And you were not too upset at leaving Otis?
“What’s really good about when I come back to Corrie at the end of the year, is Jon will then take over my role and have time off work so there’ll always be a parent with Otis. At the moment, he goes to nursery three days a week and on the other days my mum has him. I’ve always been anxious to get back as soon as possible at the end of the day and what’s fantastic is that it only actually takes two hours on the train from now. So it’s been fine, but I couldn’t have done it without my mum!”

Are you considering having more children?
“I love motherhood. It’s very rewarding. Otis is a mummy’s and a daddy’s boy. He doesn’t say the word mummy though, he can’t say it yet, he only says daddy! He’s throwing his weight around a little bit now, if he doesn’t like something he’ll tell you. I can see what they mean by terrible twos, but sometimes I have to look away in case I laugh because it’s really cute when he has a paddy. I have to not let him see that I’m smiling because I don’t want to encourage it!”

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