Carley Stenson is currently touring in the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but the woman who played Steph Cunningham in Hollyoaks for 10 years dreams of a different life, she reveals to Soaplife…

Who do you play in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels?

“A character called Christine Colgate. The two scoundrels think she’s a detergent heiress and they try to fleece her, but it turns out she has no fortune and has just won a competition.”

Is it a laugh?

“It’s such a laugh. As a cast, we’re a family. We’re all going to be together until at least December so we know it’s important we get on. When we’re not working, we go for dinner together and the other evening we went ten pin bowling.”

Do you miss being at home?

“I’m lucky on this tour as we’re playing a lot of dates in the north, which means I can get home to Lancashire far more than I could when I was in the West End. We get Sundays and Mondays off so I also go home then.”

You led an anti-fur protest in Birmingham recently… Any more planned?

“Not at the moment. When PETA, the animal protection organisation, get in touch I do what I can to help. That anti-fur protest caused quite a stir, but I try to keep my hand in with regards to this issue. I write a blog in order to make people aware.”

And you’d like to open your own animal sanctuary…

“Yes. I’d love a little farm with kennels, a cattery and a petting zoo with rabbits and guinea pigs. The idea is that families would come and, in addition to the animals, there’d be an area for mums and dads to chill out with a cup of tea and slice of cake while the kids could let off steam. I’d also like to be able to introduce the children to animals and teach them how to care for them. One day…”

Do you ever manage to watch Hollyoaks these days? 

“I have to be at the theatre for 6.00pm every day so I don’t get to see it that often. When I do it’s a bit like seeing your mates having a good time without you. And they ARE having a good time – I know exactly what happens when the cameras stop rolling!”