Actress Claire King is heading back to the world of soaps, 16 years after her exit from Emmerdale, but it’s the cobbles rather than the Dales this time around.
“I don’t think I’d go back to Emmerdale,” King tells RadioTimes.com, referencing her role as the notorious Kim Tate. “Too much water’s passed under the bridge for that character.”
But Corrie “fitted in” with King, who’s recently been doing more comedic roles both on stage and on screen, including hit comedy Fetish Knights at the Lowry in Manchester. “Coronation Street was probably the only soap I would do, having done Hollyoaks anyway,” King adds.
With her skinny jeans, leather jackets and bright nails, King will arrive on the Street as Erica Hulroyd, an old mucker of Liz McDonald’s (Beverley Callard) on a visit from Spain. She’s been pencilled in initially for a two-week stint that will see Erica have a fling with Nick Tilsley (Ben Price), but King teases: “We may see her again”.
If and when she resurfaces, King says it will take a long time for fans to refer to her as Erica when she’s out and about. “It was Kim, Kim, Kim for ages and it still is in certain areas. Although you get somebody like [Big Brother’s Bit on the Side host] Rylan Clark who just called me Karen because he was just a massive Karen Betts and Bad Girls fan. Then you’ll get Strictly Come Dancing people, saying ‘Oh, I loved you in that’.
“If I came back as a full-time character on Coronation Street, it would take a while for people to get their head around Erica after Kim. But it’s weird – after doing Bad Girls I then started getting called Claire. They suddenly thought of me as an actress rather than a character or caricature from a TV show, so that was nice.”
On how quickly she would become referred to as a ‘Coronation Street actress’ by the media if she does sign up to the Street for a longer gig, King laughs, “It’ll be good to get rid of the Emmerdale thing. It has been a while.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below: