As a teenager, Alex Fletcher made her name playing Ron Dixon’s daughter Jacqui in Brookside. She’s back onscreen this week with Celebrity MasterChef and heads back to soapland in August when she joins Hollyoaks.
Did you enjoy the whole MasterChef experience?
I did, although it feels a long time ago now. We filmed it before Christmas so I feel like I’ve talked about it forever, and now I am looking forward to seeing it, because I worked damn hard. But it was a brilliant experience. I was very starstruck with Gregg Wallace and John Torode. I’m a massive fan of the show. You forget the cameras were there, and I am quite competitive. I thought I want to win this, but you try to stay light-hearted about it. There are some serious cooks on there.
You are following in the footsteps of quite a few former Brookside stars who’ve taken part — Mark Moraghan, Louis Emerick, Steven Pinder, Sunetra Sarker…
I didn’t even remember they’d all done it. I didn’t get tips from any of them, but I did see Mark in the gym after I’d filmed it, and we had a laugh about what it’s like taking part.
You still live in Liverpool where you grew up. Have you been back to where Brookside was filmed to have a nose around?
I was so lucky with Brookie, it was a really good time in my life. I did film something a while ago for Granada, about the houses being up for sale. The gardens were overgrown and it’s all neglected. It’s a bit sad really, like something had been erased.
While you’ve been away from acting you trained as a fitness instructor. Have you enjoyed doing something different?
Yes, I’ve been teaching fitness, and qualified last year. I’ve been doing quite a lot of aerobics. It keeps me fit — and sane! I love it, it’s got that element of dance, which is something I grew up with. I teach in a few places. As for people recognising me from Brookside —I don’t get funny reactions now, as I’ve been doing it a while, and everyone’s really supportive. People have made comments occasionally but you learn not to take any notice.
Celebrity MasterChef is your first experience of a reality show. Would you consider taking part in another one?
I’d never say never to other shows. It’s tough eating hairy and slimy stuff, so I’m A Celebrity… wouldn’t be my first choice. But I think it might be hard to turn down if you are offered it. But I reckon Dancing On Ice or Strictly Come Dancing would be more my thing.
By Tricia Martin