Having conquered Coronation Street and I’m a Celebrity…, Helen Flanagan tells TV Times magazine about her return to acting in Holby City (Tuesday, BBC1)…

What have you been up to since leaving Coronation Street?

“When I left Coronation Street, I really wanted to have a break from acting. I’d been in it for 12 years and I just needed some time out. It’s all I’d known since I was nine years old, so I just wanted a quiet life for a while.”

Why did you want a role in Holby City?

“When this part came up in Holby for one episode, I thought it would be really good. I just felt this was the appropriate time. I’ve done a few short films, but this is the first TV role that I wanted to do.”

You play new nurse Kirsty, who’s brought in by Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw). What’s she like?

“She’s a terrible nurse! She’s just a troublemaker. She’s a flirt, and she’s quite an entertaining character and really funny so I hope people enjoy her.”

How do you look back on your time in I’m a Celebrity…?

“I don’t know why I even went on that show! I didn’t think it through. My parents told me that they really didn’t think it was a good idea as I’d be really scared. I watched some clips on YouTube and I’d seen it a bit when I was younger and I thought it didn’t look that bad…”

You had a bumpy ride during your time in the jungle…

“In the end it was good for me, but I’m the biggest scaredy-cat and it was humiliating – I will never live that down! But I’m sure that people think it’s quite funny and it made some people chuckle. Even now when I go for a Starbucks, people say, ‘You’re that jungle girl!'”

Are you concerned about shaking off your tabloid image and being taken seriously as an actress?

“I’d love to do theatre and I’d love to do more TV – I really want to act in a period drama. I don’t want to shake anything off. I’m proud of what I’ve done. It’s a really exciting time for me and I’m looking forward to exploring other projects and whatever else comes next.”