Actress Hayley Tamaddon is set to make a big impression on the Rovers regulars in the coming weeks when she makes her debut as Steve McDonald’s study buddy Andrea. Looking a lot more glamorous than Steve had been making out, Andrea is set to cause a stir, particularly where Michelle is concerned. Here, the former star of Emmerdale and Dancing on Ice reveals what it was like to film her first scene in the Weatherfield pub and whether Andrea really does have her sights set on Steve.
So, how did it feel being the new girl?
I was petrified because it all happened very quickly. I had one audition, followed by a screen test a week later with Simon Gregson and Craig Charles. When they offered me the role, I said to them “are you sure?”. So I finished a play I was doing in Hull on the Friday and then started at Corrie on the Monday. My first scene was in the Rovers and everyone was very warm and welcoming.
Is it hard getting on the Corrie treadmill?
Working the schedule out is very difficult. There’s one big board full of pieces of paper and, on my first day, Beverley Callard had to show me how to work it all out. But I thrive on that kind of craziness.
What is your character Andrea like?
She’s sassy, but not overly confident. She’s also warm and loving – she’s had her heart broken numerous times and she has a 20-year-old daughter. She’s struggled, but she’s now out to get her Mr Right and she’s not going to let anybody stand in her way.
And is Steve Mr Right?
She thinks so, but he has no idea. They met at college, they’re good mates, but in her head she thinks there could be something more.
Does she know that he’s living with somebody?
Yes, she comes straight into the pub and meets Michelle and she’s nice to her. But Andrea is soon turning round to Steve and saying, “I’m not sure Michelle likes me. I think it’s because I’m a single woman and we’re mates.” So, at the moment it’s all very genuine. She’s not done anything mean or nasty, but there might be something on the horizon.
Is there going to be a stand-off?
Well, Michelle doesn’t take a shine to Andrea, so I hope so. I love those type of scenes. I’ve done some bits with Beverley Callard and Kym Marsh and already a little bit of sarcasm is creeping into the dialogue. So it might go that way.
Does Andrea flirt with Steve?
At the moment she’s just being really pally and blokey with him, but she does fancy him. She knows in her head that she is after Steve – and she might go through Lloyd in order to get him.
Are you nervous about the reaction of fans?
Not really. I have experience of this, after all. When I played Deliah in Emmerdale, a woman in Selfridges hit me with her handbag because I stole £20,000 of Eric Pollard’s money.
Does Simon Gregson live up to his reputation as a joker?
He and Craig Charles both tried to make me giggle during my first day in the Rovers. Before they call ‘action’, Craig will tell a joke. Both guys are fun to work with – they took me to the pub and my first night after filming. They’re lovely, down-to-earth people.
Has anyone left you starstruck?
Meeting Barbara Knox is like meeting the Queen. I actually put my arms around her and gave her a hug. She asked me who I was and then said, “it’s lovely to have you on our set”. She was great but it was nerve-wracking to meet her.
So, for how long have you signed up?
I hope it will turn out to be a year. You get six months at a time – fingers crossed if they like me and the public likes me, I will do a year and then see what happens.
Are you ready for the level of press attention that comes with Corrie?
It scares the s**t out of me. I don’t think anybody can ever be ready for press attention. But I’ve learnt my lessons – there were things I did during Emmerdale that I won’t do this time around. I’m older now – this is my job, I will come here to work and I will do it to the best of my ability.
Do you still keep in touch with anyone from your Emmerdale days?
Lucy Pargeter is one of my closest friends. She never failed to call me when I left and I love her to bits. We don’t get to see each other that often because I live in London, so when I told her that I was starting at Corrie, she screamed down the phone! We love to eat, drink Prosecco and gossip!
Hayley Tamaddon makes her Coronation Street in the episode airing on Monday 23 December