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Hollyoaks’ Diane Langton has revealed playing Marlena “Nana” McQueen has given her a new lust for life.

With her on-screen family in the Channel 4 soap facing eviction from their home, the 67-year-old actress said she is revelling in the drama.

“It’s a madhouse for me at the moment. But it’s marvellous to be wanted. It’s better than coming to scenes and asking people if they want a cup of tea,” she said.

“The storylines are fabulous – and so is Nana’s wardrobe. Who wants to wear old people’s clothes?”

Diane, whose soap pedigree also includes a role in EastEnders as Cindy Beale’s mum, Bev, in the Nineties, admitted her real-life role as a grandma prepared her and helped her handle the pressure of being the matriarch of the family.

“I’ve got seven grandchildren – so I can handle those McQueens.

“I used to call my family the von Trapps when they were younger, because they would troop through the woods to visit me in my cottage. When I was first in the show, they used to get jealous of people calling me Nana McQueen. They’d say, ‘No she’s not, she’s my Nana!’.”

The soap matriarch also revealed she shares a close bond with her TV family.

“I love being part of the McQueens. It reminds me of the film Sister Act, because we all stick together – despite how different we are both on and off screen,” Diane explained.

“We chat so much we have to shush each other when we’re working or we don’t get anything done.”

Hollyoaks, Channel 4, Monday, June 30, 6.30pm



– Press Association