Coronation Street star Tina O’Brien reveals she SMUGGLES FOOD into awards shows

Tina O'Brien
Tina O'Brien at the ITV Palooza at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) (Image credit: SIPA USA/PA Images)

A girl's got to eat!

Actress Tina O’Brien has been to a fair few awards shows, having been in Coronation Street on and off for the past 21 years.

But while the glitzy ceremonies may look super glamorous from the outside, it turns out that they’re not quite as perfect as they look.

Speaking to us ahead of the ITV documentary The British Soap Awards Celebrate 21 Years the 36 year old star, who plays Sarah Barlow (nee Platt), says that the problem with all awards ceremonies is a serious lack of nosh.

“The one thing I’d say is there is never enough food provided at awards shows, ever!” O’Brien tells us.

“They’ll say ‘We want you here at 4 o clock in the afternoon’ and then you probably won’t finish the show until 9 or 10. So I tend to sneak food into my handbag.

“I’ll have little crackers or, if my bag’s big enough, I’ll have a banana in there. And then, when the show’s over, I find the door where they come out with the canapés.”

Tina O'Brien wearing a flowing yellow dress at the 2019 Soap Awards

Tina O'Brien attending the British Soap Awards 2019 - did she sneak any food in with that bag?! (Image credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

The British Soap Awards Celebrate 21 Years, narrated by Philip Schofield, will look back at some of the biggest moments in the show’s history. This year, of course, the event has had to be pulled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Revealing more about what goes on behind the scenes, O’ Brien adds that she and her female co-stars feel nervous, with attention focused very much on their appearance.

We’re incredibly lucky because most years, we’ll have hair and make-up provided. There might be a hotel room with make up artists, so you can have your hair and make up done and, if you have a stylist, they’ll be titivating you,” she reveals.

“There’s a nervous energy in the air, especially for the women. The women tend to feel a bit nervous because it is televised and we do secretly think ‘Dear god, what if everyone thinks we look awful!”’

“But it’s always a really good laugh. It’s a really great time for us to let our hair down. We see each other at work in our costumes, in character, so it’s a nice opportunity to get together.”

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.