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As Tina has doubts about going through with her plan to become a surrogate mother, Michelle Keegan, who plays her, tells TV Choice more about the controversial Coronation Street storyline…
Have you had good feedback from Corrie fans about Tina’s recent problems?
Yes. At first I was a bit nervous about the storyline, because Tina is only 21 years old [Michelle is 25]. And I was just thinking, ‘Is it believable for a 21 year-old to be doing this?’ But the audience has taken to it, and that’s down to the writers as well and how they’ve handled it.
How much do you know about the forthcoming story? Is it going to have a big impact for years to come?
To be honest, I don’t know. We’ve spoken about it and there are different paths it could lead down. But we still don’t know how it’s going to be played out.
Do you get the feeling that the viewers really want Tina and Tommy [Chris Fountain] to stay together?
Yeah, I do, and I think it’s because there was such a long process of them getting together in the first place, like a full year. They were friends, then they fell out, Tina dated Doctor Matt Carter and Tommy got jealous. So it was always the process of will they, won’t they? So when they did, I think the audience breathed a big sigh of relief. But then a week into it, all hell broke loose.
They have to be the unluckiest couple in Weatherfield…
Yes, it started with Tina finding love again, and he got the girl. Everything was going right and then everything just kicked off.
Tina often confides in Rita. So what’s it like acting with Barbara Knox?
Well, obviously, it’s a massive honour working with Barbara. She’s like a street icon, and luckily for me I’ve been working with her since day one. She sort of took me under her wing, but you do get the sense that she’s very professional – you need to learn your lines. But she’s also my friend. I do nip into her dressing room – every now and again – for a chat.
Like many twentysomethings, you occasionally go clubbing. So have you ever been hungover on set?
I've felt like that twice and I hated it. I’d never do it again. Barbara doesn’t know that!
Emmerdale’s producer Stuart Blackburn is soon to become Corrie’s producer. Have you met him?
Yes, he used to be the story editor at Corrie. So I have met him. He’s really nice.
Does the thought of having a new boss make the cast feel nervous?
No, I don’t think so, because he’s been here before, and he’s lovely. I think it’s an exciting time when a new producer’s taking over. Don’t get me wrong, what Phil Collinson’s done for the show is amazing. And definitely, the cast will miss Phil. But I’m aware that producers do move on after a certain amount of years.
How does your personality compare to Tina’s?
I’m a lot more laid back than Tina, definitely. But I do think we’ve got the same morals, and I’m also quite strong willed.
Is it true that when you went for the role of Tina, it was only your second audition?
Yes. That is true.
Did you know that the audition had gone well?
No, not really. I went into the audition as a normal experience really. I went in thinking, ‘I’ll see what it’s like being in an audition’. I didn’t think for a second that I’d get it. Maybe that helps, because I wasn’t nervous.
Do you know how long you’d like to stay in Coronation Street?
No, not yet, because I live for the day. I just think, ‘Well, I’m enjoying it at the minute’. I’m getting amazing storylines and I’m very lucky with the storylines, so I have no intention of leaving at the minute.
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