You’re playing Roxie on stage in Chicago. Are you a fan?
I saw the show as a child and once the film came out, I was obsessed. Renée Zellweger set the bar, in my eyes. Roxie Hart is a pretty difficult character but she made it so easy to love her. I’ve lost count of how many times I watched it — probably 50 times since I learnt I was playing her.
It’s a raunchy show, isn’t it?
It’s a little bit different to your average American musical because it’s rather sexy — you can’t take your eyes off the stage. I love my costumes. They’re tight and revealing — everything Roxie should look like.
How is your American accent?
It’s one of my favourite accents to do and I tend to slip into it throughout my daily routine. I enjoy the sound of it and I even do American voices for my dogs all the time as if they are talking to one another!
You played Coronation Street’s Kate Connor for four years. Will you ever go back?
Absolutely, 100 per cent. It was the best job by far — I loved it. I treasure every moment that I had there and it tested me because I was up against these legends and people who had made history on those cobbles for the past 50 years. I was part of that history and I just wanted to leave a little bit of a legacy behind. I’m so glad they left the doors open because I’m hoping that maybe I’ll get to return.
We hear you are a bit of a fitness fanatic…
Fitness has always been the most important part of my daily routine because it helps with mental health. I have to do something for me every day. It gets me out of my head and it stops my brain fixating on insecurities.
Handily, your boyfriend Joe Davies is a personal trainer…
He’s my biggest support system. He’s a fitness instructor and personal trainer, and works for Barry’s Bootcamp. During lockdown he gave me the peace of mind that we could enjoy some food, have a glass of wine, chill out and watch Netflix, and not be pushing ourselves all the time. I was always one that was punishing myself. I’d have a glass of champagne at the launch of a new fitness line, for example, then the next day I’d say, ‘Well, I did that yesterday so now I need to work out.’
Did you meet at the gym?
We did! He was my friend first and foremost, that’s what made it so solid. It’s nearly two years but it feels like I’ve been with him for ever. I don’t think I ever really felt like myself truly within any partnership that I’ve ever had before Joe. For the first time, I can completely be me. I can be independent and go off and conquer the world. I have a good, calm person by my side who has got my back 100 per cent. I’m very content.
Did you move in together during lockdown?
We got back from a trip to New York and visited his parents to tell them all about our holiday. That’s when Boris said that everybody must stay where they were. I ended up living with his family in Southport for two and a half months, which was insane. If you can stand your partner in lockdown, that’s OK, but we were with the family. That’s the ultimate test!
What will you miss from home while you’re away on tour?
We’re moving house, finding our ‘forever place’ to be. I’m not going to be a part of that process because I’m going to be on the road for ten months but as soon as I get the chance I’m going to whizz back and create those magical moments. We only get one life and I really want to enjoy it. We’re moving to outside of Manchester, which is different. I’ve always been in a city centre but I’m so ready now to have a garden and more room for family to stay over.
Having taken part in Dancing On Ice, do you fancy any other reality shows?
What’s funny is that Dancing On Ice is the one I said I’d never do but, come lockdown, I was given the opportunity.I felt that life was too short to say no. I’m so grateful for the experience. I’d love to do Strictly and I’d definitely be interested in the jungle.
What’s your dream role?
I’d love to be a Disney princess! It would be amazing to create an original character. It’s a dream I fixate on — I put it out there to the universe that it might happen one day. Either in an animated film or on stage. When I dream, I dream big.
What’s in your future?
I’d love to settle down, get married and have children. I don’t think that’s ever going to go from my little heart. I love the idea of finding someone to spend your life with. It helps that my parents are incredibly loving and supportive of one another. They have been together for more than 35 years and are incredibly happy. I’ve longed for that my whole life and now I have that with Joe.
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