Denise Lovett played by Joanna Vanderham – the rural newcomer whose eye for business and wholesome good looks catch the eye of ladies man, John Moray.
Describe your character Denise in three words...
Ambitious, confident and intelligent.
She’s a bit of a country bumpkin – how does she end up at The Paradise?
She’s left behind a life she doesn’t want and a young farmer who asked her to marry him. She turns up looking for work with her uncle, Edmund – a city draper. He’s always said he will hand his business down to her but there’s no work for her when she arrives. He wants the best for her so he says, “go to The Paradise”, even though it’s his fierce competitor and right across the street.
So she jumps ship to her uncle’s rival?
Denise sees the “city look” and thinks “I want to be part of that”. She gets given this silk dress, the most glamorous thing she’s ever been given, and that’s just her shop girl uniform!
You mentioned she was ambitious...
She is changing things and she is different. Everyone tells her not to mess with the system but she does. She sees more to life – yes, she wants to fall in love, but as a woman she also believes she can achieve a lot. Moray likes that about her.
Oh yes, Mr Moray – he takes a shining to Denise, doesn’t he?
It’s unstoppable. They have this instant connection – it’s overwhelming. Their relationship begins with her admiring him as a businessman and Denise says at the start, “I don’t want to marry Moray, I want to be him.” She sees how successful he is and wants to emulate that, wants to be a part of it – but at the same time, he is gorgeous – it’s Emun Elliott!
But what about all that ambition? We can almost hear the collective feminist groan as she sacrifices her glittering career for a man...
She wants to do both. If anything she’s realised that you can do both – look at all the working mums today. It’s really hard but they’re managing it. Denise is very modern thinking in that way.
So how would you describe her relationship with Moray?
Oh, fabulous! It’s only gradually they realise what a connection they have and how easy it is between them. It’s this very uncomplicated, unmanipulative contrast to Katherine and Moray – neither he nor Denise want anything from each other, they just want to be together.