Michelle Collins tells us all about her new Casualty role and how reuniting with former EastEnders screen lover Michael French was... You're joining the cast of Casualty for a few episodes – who do you play? "I play a character called Camille, a single mother. They open the series with a big 90-minute episode and it's all about a sniper in a school. Lots of students get shot, some of them are killed and one of the affected is my daughter." It's quite a gritty storyline for Casualty? "I think they've done it really well. It's very sensitive and I don't think it's over gratuitous. I think it's interesting to understand why people end up doing this kind of thing, and you see how it affects the regulars in the emergency department." Do you have many scenes with your old EastEnders lover, Michael French, who plays Jordan? "I do. My character blames Jordan for the things that go wrong during the episode so we've got some great scenes where I really go for him." How was it, working with him again? "The last time we worked together we were doing rude things in a Portakabin as Cindy and David! I think we were both a bit nervous to be honest. It was nice though, he said I'd aged quite well and I said he'd aged quite well too. There's no sexual tension this time!" Will the ghost of Cindy Beale haunt you forever? "I think Cindy being dead is a good thing, it removes any temptation to go back. I probably would've gone back by now if she were not dead. I look back with fondness and she's become almost iconic, but it was 14 years ago now." Do you get asked to do the likes of Strictly and I'm A Celebrity every year? "Always. The only one I've considered is Strictly, but it's not really me. I'm too competitive. I'd hate to be knocked out in the first week." Michelle Collins appears in Casualty on Saturday September 4 at 8.45pm on BBC1.
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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.