The actress, who appeared in Albert Square as downtrodden Kathy for 15 years, has now joined the cast of the Channel 4 soap as Sandy Roscoe, a single mum of five boys.
And she said that while the character didn’t compare to some of the younger, prettier Hollyoaks cast members the role was far removed from her Enders persona.
“Sandy’s not as glamorous as most Hollyoaks girls believe me,” Gillian said. “She’s a bit more glamorous than Kathy Beale.
“But I don’t think she’ll be turning the heads of any of the young men in there. I shouldn’t think so – if she did even for a bit of fun, which she may need after a hard day’s work, the boys would put paid to that anyway. They’re very protective of their mum.”
The actress added that while Sandy made every effort to look nice she was not in competition with the soap’s other female characters.
“These girls, if you think they look good on screen you want to see them in real life, they’re even better,” she admitted.
“Sandy’s not an old fuddy duddy by any means, she’s got some nice clothes and keeps herself presentable, because she still wants to be one of the girls and she likes going out and enjoying herself.
Gillian added: “It’s quite another thing to keep up with on this show, believe me.”