Stephanie Beacham is a nightmare for the staff at Casualty when she guest stars as sharp-tongued Monica, a no-nonsense career woman who has a nasty fall while attempting some DIY... Did you enjoy your guest appearance on Casualty? "Casualty was fun to do and the cast was enchanting. It was filmed in Bristol where my grandson is most of the time, so that was a plus. He came to the hotel and we went swimming. It's always brilliant when grandma can turn up and do fun things!" Can you tell me about your character, Monica? "Monica attracted me immediately because she's a very difficult character, and there's nothing I like more than difficult women!" How does Monica end up in hospital? "I really don't want to spoil any of that, but she was doing a bit of home electrics." Did your part involve much action? "No, she lies flat on her back all the time - it's very unattractive! It was rather fun lying in a neck brace with no make-up and no high heels shoes playing a person who doesn't take to being a patient at all well!" Is this a one-off appearance in Casualty? "This was a one-off but I think I could come back as another character - maybe a cost cutter who ruins the entire hospital. I'd enjoy that very much." Will fans see you sailing back into Coronation Street? "I don't think Martha would return to the cobbles and make Deirdre's life a misery, she's just not that sort of person. She gave Ken an ultimatum and he couldn't do it, so that's that. But it might be fun to do something like that on EastEnders!" How has life been since leaving the Big Brother house? "The experience of Big Brother was completely fabulous - I loved it. I found coming out very difficult. I didn't want to do the chat show stuff. Going on Big Mouth was absolutely disgusting. I just thought 'don't give me this vulgarity, it's awful.' I ran away and came home to my dogs and my boyfriend as soon as I could!" Have you stayed in touch with anyone from the show? "Yes, Heidi, Vinnie and Dane." How is your autobiography coming along? "Oh don't! I am so bad. Until I get someone to help me it's not going to happen - it's too jagged. I don't know how to do it. There's so much stuff and I don't know what's interesting and what's not." Do you think you'll abandon it? "I've got to do it. I've got to have some way of remembering the whole of this ridiculously amazing life! It's not something I can abandon."
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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.