SHE’S one of my favourite characters in Coronation Street, and the actress who plays her is always fun to interview.
Factory girl Fiz, played by Jennie McAlpine, is at the centre of Christmas Day drama on the cobbles next week.
And by New Year’s Eve, too much fizz leads to Fiz snogging someone entirely unexpected.
There’s an interview with Jennie in today’s MEN Christmas TV Special, which has kept me extra busy over the last few weeks.
It also features interviews linked to Ballet Shoes, Christmas At The Riviera, The Old Curiosity Shop, Extras and lots more.
The online version of the Corrie feature is here.
Here are a few extracts from the chat with Jennie which we couldn’t squeeze into the TV special.
On the departure this year of screen mum Cilla (Wendi Peters):
“She’s gone to the bright lights of Vegas – she’ll have watched the Ricky Hatton fight.
“We so want to do a spin-off. We think Fiz and Kirk and Chesney should go off to Vegas.
“It’s been done before, so I don’t think they’d let us. We’d never move from the slot machines. Wouldn’t that be great?
“But they’d probably just hire a studio in Salford and mock it up as Vegas.”
On the future for Fiz in 2008:
“I think Fiz should get a job in the corner shop. I’d love that. I think Dev needs an assistant, with Molly having to look after Vera and Jack.
“I could do her shift when she’s not working.
“I’ve told the storyliners but they say I’m too busy in the factory.
“Mind you, I don’t know what I’m doing writing myself in even more, I’m knackered as it is.”
Has she swapped notes about John (Graeme Hawley) with actress Helen Flanagan, who plays teenage temptress Rosie?
“No. She’s definitely been able to do all the sexy, sultry bits. I’m glad they gave that part to her and not to me.
“People have been saying to me and Graeme when we’re together – you must be so tired, doing this main storyline.
“And I’ve been saying, ‘Yeah, but he’s twice as knackered because he’s got three women – Fiz, Rosie and Sally.’”
On the prospect of a Fiz and Kirk reunion:
“Obviously there’s always a torch there, isn’t there? Especially from Kirk, because Kirk hasn’t moved on and hasn’t had any other relationship.
“There’s definitely going to be scenes for us in the New Year because Kirk is still looking after Chesney.
“Fiz is going to have more time to concentrate on Chesney and she’s going to realise that he hasn’t had a bath since October.
“I think she’ll be round there all the time, making sure he’s eating all his greens and washing behind his ears.”
On the Corrie cast visit to see Tina O’Brien and Johnny Briggs in Cinderella at the Manchester Opera House:
“It was just magic. All the kids were loving it. It really put us in the Christmas spirit. Tina’s brilliant, just the perfect Cinderella.
“I love panto and would love to do it. But apart from anything else, we’re so busy in the run up to Christmas in the Street, especially when you’re in the Christmas storylines like we are this year, there’s no chance to do anything.
“You can hardly do your Christmas shopping, let alone a pantomime.
“People have very funny ideas about pantomime. Some actors see it as below them. But it’s a highly skilled thing to do well.
“So I would love to do panto and, hopefully, I might be one of the ones who was kind of good at it.”
On her own record of resisting the urge to open Christmas presents early:
“When I was little I used to open more Advent Calendar windows than I should have done per day.
“So by the time I got to about the 12th, they’d all gone.
“But I’m quite good now. I quite like surprises. I love giving presents but I don’t think I’m great at receiving presents. I always find it a bit overwhelming.
“And it’s not like I wouldn’t like the presents.
“You can actually buy me anything, I’m not joking, and I’ll love it, whatever it is, if it’s wrapped up. But sometimes I feel as if I don’t look grateful enough.”
On her own Christmas Day this year:
“My dad likes to make his own crackers and put funny toys in and writes his own jokes.
“So we’ll do that and watch the Queen’s Speech…and watch Corrie, obviously.”
The Coronation Street cast begin their Christmas and New Year holiday tomorrow.
“We need the break. But I can’t complain. I know most people don’t get that,” said Jennie.
All I can say is – a very Happy Christmas to them all.
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