WHY IT’S MY FAVOURITE YEAR ON THE STREET!
Katherine Kelly chatted to Mark Llewellin ahead of her visit to Canada
Have you been to Canada before?
Yes. My dad is Irish and has a large family. Some of them live on the east coast of America and when I was in my teens we went there on holiday. We also visited Toronto and Quebec but just for a day or two. I’m really looking forward to going back. When I was training at RADA my best friend was an actress from Halifax, Meredith McNeill. She’s coming with me on this trip and it’ll be our first visit to Canada together. It will be lovely to see her family especially as her sister is due to have a baby very soon.
How did you get the part of Becky?
|Becky ties the knot. Pic: ITV|
What do you think of the public reaction to Becky?
She’s gone down a storm. Canadian viewers haven’t seen the best of her yet. She changes from a girl to a woman. She’s trying to become a good person, there’s still a big mountain to climb, but she’s trying hard. It’s an exciting time for me too and last year there was, in the UK, quite a bit of recognition for Becky, and for my playing of her.
As an actress, do you have to like her?
No, but you have to find a reason why she does what she does. Why she is who she is. Her past is an open book although sometimes she chooses to be vague about it all. Bill Ward who played Charlie Stubbs used to say that Charlie deserved to die but that he understood how Charlie had become so evil. Becky’s been a slow burner and I’ve had a lot of input into her clothes, make-up, hair, habits and humour. The whole team have enjoyed creating her, and developing her. It’s interesting that when I do public appearances I find a whole cross-section of fans – the other day I met a 94-year-old lady who had queued for two hours to tell me how much she liked Becky, there are 5-year-old mini Beckys . Girls seem to like her, which is a huge compliment.
Becky seems to get drama and comedy stories.
Yes – and she gets involved with so many different characters. I had a scene with Rita the other day, she’s taken to spending time with Claire Peacock. She’s now married to Steve so she has him, Amy and Liz around her. And she loves Roy and Hayley of course. People sometimes ask me how I can be happy playing her for so long. But she is like seven characters in one. The viewers have watched her grow up. In Canada they’ll see much more of this over the next year. The writers keep it mixed - slapstick and the most challenging of storylines. I hope I do her justice. Actors get pigeonholed – they’re good at comedy or drama, well playing Becky, I get to do both.
What have viewers got to look forward to?
In Canada they have Becky’s marriage to get through. Well, two weddings actually (I liked the pink one best!). Then Tracy Barlow returns and of course, Becky is bringing up Amy. We haven’t yet got to this in the UK but there’s going to be a three-way saga with Becky, Tracy and Steve. A mother’s love knows no bounds but Amy knows Becky better than her real mother. All the tricks Tracy has learnt in prison will come to the fore. But Becky already knows them.
When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?
As with any freelance worker, you don’t get a lot of free time. However, I like the usual actor-ish things – cinema, reading, theatre. I’ve just taken up golf but I’m not very good … but I’m lucky, my work is doing something that were I in another job, would have been my hobby.
Any message for Canadian Fans?
I’ve met some in the UK and they are always lovely. I’m looking forward to meeting as many as I can during my visit. Please keep watching Becky – you’re about to see my favourite year playing her.
WHY I’D LOVE ENA AND RAQUEL BACK ON THE STREET
Antony Cotton spoke to Mark Llewellin ahead of his visit to Canada
Have you been to Canada before?
No, no it’s my first time. I’ve met lots of Canadians during my time on Coronation Street though, and they’ve always been really nice so I’m looking forward to it. I don’t think we’ll get much free time as we are visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia and St John’s, Newfoundland before flying into Toronto for the British Isles Show. I’m hoping to see Niagara Falls and a few bits and bobs. I’ll have to go again when I’m not working.
Your mum has been in Coronation Street hasn’t she?
She has. Well remembered! My mum, Enid Dunn, has played two roles in the show. She has also appeared in shows like Shameless, Phoenix Nights and Doctors, the BBC soap.
What can viewers expect for Sean in the next few months?
Canadian viewers are about nine months behind the UK, aren’t they? We’re now looking forward to all the stories building up to the 50th anniversary. As you know Sean and Violet had a baby but she took off with Jamie Baldwin so Sean never knew him. There’s going to be lots of baby talk in the Rovers over the next few months (in the UK) with Becky and Steve planning to adopt a child. This gets Sean thinking about his little boy, who would be two years old by now. He decides to track Violet down and does this using social networking websites. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens as Sean plans to reintroduce himself to his son, Dylan.
Do you enjoy playing him?
Oh yes. I love Sean in the Rovers because he gets involved in other people’s storylines. He doesn’t really need his own – he has this Weatherfield world to get mixed up in. With him being involved in the pub and in the factory there’s a lot for him to take an interest in! There’s always a love interest around the corner too. I’m not sure whether the Canadian fans have met Leon yet, but he’s a love interest who’s been and gone. There’s bound to be another. As we gear up for the special anniversary I’m intrigued to see what else comes along.
There are lots of rumours of past characters returning to the show for the 50th anniversary. Who would you like to see coming back?
There are a lot of rumours, aren’t there? It was in the papers yesterday that Bet (Julie Goodyear) was coming back but that’s not true. Everyone is asking us about this at the moment. Raquel would be my number one choice. Sean would like her I think. Then there’s Ena Sharples, I would like to see her back on the cobbles. Of course, Vi Carson died many years ago – I would have liked to have met her. I did once get to appear in a scene with her via some computer magic. They put me into a scene digitally. I replaced Martha Longhurst. It was that lovely scene where she says of a friend who has passed away, ‘She sat up, broke wind, and died.’ I think, whoever comes back, it would have to be for a reason. I’d also like to see Bet and Alec Gilroy behind the bar. That would be fun – but I can’t see any of my suggestions happening.
You’re always busy with other projects – what are you doing now?
You’re right – I had my own chat show and I write a lot. I’m writing something for ITV Studios at the moment. I had the first script commissioned and I’ve just submitted the first draft of that. It’s a comedy/drama set in a fictional part of Manchester. The central character is a woman and it revolves around her and her home. I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in her world. It’s a funny look at life. Hopefully it will be made sometime.
All packed for Canada?
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