Former Coronation Street favourite Tracy Shaw returns to TV at the end of October when she makes a special guest appearance in Casualty and hopes it will kickstart her career. She plays Jane, the mother of a young boy who is a former leukaemia sufferer, and the mother-of-two is hoping that her appearance is the beginning of a return to acting. "I really want to get back to work now that my two boys are a little bit older. I always said I wanted to be at home with them, especially for their first few years, and not be darting off to film or going away on tour," reveals the 36-year-old. "But now everything's in place for a return to work - they're nearly five and three and I have a wonderful nanny. So fingers crossed!" Tracy became a household name as Coronation Street's Maxine Peacock. She starred in the hit soap from 1995 to 2003 when Richard Hillman murdered her character. It's only a flying visit to the Casualty wards for Tracy, who is beginning rehearsals for her appearance in the panto Robinson Crusoe at the Connaught Theatre in Worthing. "I've never seen Robinson Crusoe in pantomime before, but apparently it used to be quite a regular on the circuit, but hasn't been done in a really long time," says Tracy. "I'm playing Robinson Crusoe and really excited to be doing something new."
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.