We’re really excited that we’re going to be seeing you in Emmerdale as Declan’s half-sister Megan. Will you be staying long?
“I’ve signed up for at least a year. I’ve been watching Emmerdale for the past six months and I’ve been hooked by the great storylines. I’m thrilled to be joining and the great thing is, I only live 25 minutes away from the studios.”
Of course it’s not the first time we’ve seen you in a soap. We could never forget your character, Judy, in Coronation Street…
“I left Corrie 13 years ago, so I had forgotten what it was like working on a soap, how quick it all is. It’s all coming back to me now. I’m talking to you on my second day of filming – we’ve just been into Leeds to buy Megan’s wardrobe. She’s a very classy lady and I could only afford her clothes in the sales!”
How does it feel not only to be working on something like Emmerdale, but also being in your home town at the same time?
“It’s such a luxury to be working these days and to be in work in my home town doing a fabulous part and wearing amazing clothes – well, I feel like I have been handed a really fantastic Christmas present. Over the past few years, I’ve been away from home a lot. I’ve just finished filming the CBBC show Dani’s House, which was shot in Edinburgh, and I’ve toured with several theatre productions.”
Was it hard being away from your family for so long?
“You think that the kids will just get on with it and they won’t miss you, but they do. My son, Oliver, really found it difficult me being away and he’s starting secondary school in September, so I really feel I need to be around.”
Is it difficult being a working mum?
“Yes. I am lucky, I have a supportive partner and family and we make it work, but you do feel guilty when you are away all the time. It’s really nice to know that I am not going to have to pack my case for a while. It’s battered from all the travelling I’ve been doing and has been next to my bed for about four years, ready to pack and go off with me. It has gone into the attic now and that’s a really nice feeling.”
You’ve been so busy – even being script editor for your mum Kay’s new drama series The Syndicate…
“Unofficially, I have always read my mum’s scripts. I am quite critical and she appreciates that, although every single point I make is a battle because it’s her work. It’s hard, but it’s worth it because I have the best intentions and I want it to be amazing.”
What’s your definition of success?
“Being able to kiss my children goodnight. And I do feel lucky, as I wake up in the morning and I can’t wait to get to work.”