Lisa Riley talks to TV Times magazine about her return to Waterloo Road as Scout’s nightmare mother Tina, her Strictly legacy and how Craig Revel Horwood is bringing her life to the stage…
Hi Lisa! How did you fit in Strictly Come Dancing with filming Waterloo Road?
“We filmed these scenes up in Scotland while I was training for Strictly with my professional partner Robin Windsor. It was so funny, one day I was covered in mud as Tina and then the next thing I was head to toe in glitter doing photos for Strictly. I was a scruffbag in the morning, then a glamourpuss at night!”
Are you happy to be playing Tina again?
“I love playing her because it’s a major challenge to play such a loathed woman. People on the street say to me, ‘How can you be so horrid!'”
Has Tina changed since we last saw her?
“You are going to see a nicer side to Tina, because she has realised the error of her ways. She wants to make things right.”
And you’re also touring the country as part of the Strictly live tour?
“I’m still very much in the bubble, we’re having a brilliant time. When we performed in my home town of Manchester the whole arena was chanting my name, I couldn’t believe it.”
Are you surprised by the reaction you had from people after appearing on the reality show?
“Everybody’s still bonkers about what I did and to me that’s better than winning. Viewers loved the fact that we were so camp and that we could actually dance. People have had their eyes opened and for the first time in many years I’ve given men and women a voice. You can be the person you want to be, no matter what you look like.”
Have you been inundated with offers of work after Strictly?
“Strictly really has been the best thing I’ve done. You couldn’t make up what’s happened to my life since – there’s so much in the pipeline it’s ridiculous.”
We also hear that Craig Revel Horwood has written a stage show about your life!
“It’s the most flattering thing in the world. The show’s called Strictly Confidential, it starts touring the country in June and I’ll be dancing with professional Artem Chigvintsev, it’s all very exciting. You’re going to get an insight into my life and how I went from drama school to being the people’s champion. It’s insane that Craig would write it for me. We get on like a house on fire – he’s a softie really!”
Lisa returns to Waterloo Road on Thursday February 28 at 8pm on BBC1.