FORMER Coronation Street star Suranne Jones was on good form when we met last week at a hotel near Oxford Street in London.
She was there to talk about her role as Beth in a second series of Manchester-filmed drama Vincent, back on ITV1 next month.
There’ll be more about that both here and in the MEN soon. But we also spoke about the part she is currently filming. Suranne has already warned her dad to avert his gaze when it is screened.
A story appeared in yesterday’s Diary. If you missed it, or don’t have access to a hard copy of the paper, here’s some of what we discussed:
The Oldham-born actress plays sex therapist Linda Nelson in Kay Mellor’s new six-part ITV1 drama Strictly Confidential.
As part of her research, leading lady Suranne viewed real life therapy sessions on DVD and met some swingers before filming the series about love, friendship, fun, fetish, sex and death.
She’s also about to shoot her first ever sex scenes. “I’ve warned my dad,” reveals Suranne, “and he said, ‘I might not watch a few of those episodes. Just tell me when to look and when not to look.’
“There are quite a few sex scenes coming up that I haven’t embarked on in my career so far but I’m fully prepared. They’ll not be done in a gratuitous way because it’s part of the story.”
Suranne says her research was invaluable. “It was a real insight into what goes on in people’s lives. I think the series is going to bring up a lot of issues that people will relate to and it’s dealt with in the wonderful Kay Mellor way – humour with a dark edge.”
She has also filmed a Strictly Confidential scene where a near naked man is beaten on the behind.
“I just got on with my scene and close my eyes and then went home and thought, ‘OK, I’ll leave that to whatever they want to do.’”
More to her father’s liking is her very different role as Snow White in this year’s Opera House, Manchester panto. “That is the most brilliant thing I’ll ever do for my parents.”
Suranne was named Most Popular Actress at the National Television Awards for her portrayal of Corrie’s fiery Karen McDonald but hasn’t looked back since quitting the cobbles on Boxing Day 2004.
Earlier this year she finished work on another ITV1 Manchester-based drama called Dead Clever, co-starring Helen Baxendale, which has yet to be screened.
And there doesn’t appear to be any immediate prospect of Suranne returning to Weatherfield, even for a short guest stint, despite producer Steve Frost saying recently that he wanted her back in the Street.
“I’ve read that in a few places but I’m busy doing other things,” says Suranne. “I love Coronation Street and I loved the character, so never say never, because I don’t know what I’ll be doing in a few years.
“But I’m just pleased to be doing what I’m doing and having new challenges and loads of different parts.”
Currently based in Manchester, Suranne has been commuting to Leeds to film Strictly Confidential. “I love Manchester and like working there, but would move to London for work. Hopefully, in a year’s time I will be in a position whereby I own a house in London as well as my house in Manchester, so I can work in either city.”
*Suranne had earlier told a general press conference that she had actually been to swingers’ clubs as part of her research but was keen to correct herself when we spoke.
“Let me clear that up. I didn’t actually go to a swingers’ club,” she laughed. “I have met some of the swingers, though, and one of our actors, his mum is a sex therapist, so there are people around that do know what they’re talking about.”