It's been 20 years now since Samia Longchambon (née Ghadie) joined the cast of Coronation Street, with her first episode airing 19th May 2000. Now, a couple of months after her anniversary, Longchambon has reflected on her two decades on the cobbles.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, Longchambon revealed that while she is certainly happy that she is still part of the ITV soap, she would not have believed how long her tenure would be when she first joined.
"I’d never have imagined I would still be here after 20 years and touch wood I feel lucky to still be enjoying it and working with so many lovely people," she said, while adding how much fun she still has working with her colleagues.
Of course, given the events of this year, working at all is something that should not be taken for granted and that is not lost on Longchambon. "We all feel lucky we can actually work because lots of my friends in different industries aren’t able to, so we are grateful for that." As for how she has spent lockdown, baking and bike rides are the main things that occupied time in the Longchambon household.
There seem to be tough times on the horizon for Maria in the coming weeks as she prepares to marry Gary Windass (Mikey North), unaware that he is a killer following the murder of Rick Neelan. But given Maria's track record, maybe it's Gary that should be nervous?
"I warned Mikey about her black widow status," Samia joked. "Everyone who works with Maria dies and leaves, so Mikey best watch his step!" Given how previous Coronation Street killers have left the soap, we would be worried too if we were Gary...
"She would be furious and devastated to find out she’s about to be married to a murderer, especially after her first husband, Liam, was murdered and she got engaged to his murderer," Samia said of her character's situation with Gary. "She’s not got a great track record. I hope she would run a mile, but you never know with Maria."
As for whether Maria will learn her lesson, Longchambon does not have much confidence. "She doesn’t learn from her mistakes and is too trusting given all she’s been through. But I don’t know. It’s the million-dollar question. I want to shake her. I often read the scripts and roll my eyes at her. But it’s always fun for me, slightly different from the last time."