Tamzin Outhwaite takes centre stage and reveals a special attachment to her latest role

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Tamzin Outhwaite tells Soaplife about her latest, comedic stage role, playing the wife of a cheating husband...

What’s so funny about How The Other Half Loves, the play you’re in right now?

“It’s the story of three couples who know each other - Frank and Fiona Foster (Nicholas Le Prevost and Jenny Seagrove), William and Mary Featherstone (Matthew Cottle and EastEnders’ Gillian Wright) and Bob and Teresa Phillips. Bob (ex-Emmerdale star Jason Merrells) is having a secret affair with Frank’s wife. I play Bob’s wife Teresa.

"It’s set in the early 70s and is one of Alan Ayckbourne’s funniest plays. There’s also a very special reason why I have such an attachment to Alan Ayckbourne plays.”

What’s that?

“Alan gave me my first big break after drama school. I went up to Scarborough to the Ayckbourne theatre and he cast me in the musical They’re Playing Our Song. Then he cast me in Absent Friends, which was my first non-musical play.”

How does it fit in with your other role as a mum?

“Doing the play in London is fine – it means I get to see my daughters, Florence, eight, and Marnie, four, at times during the day and I’m at work when they’re in bed. It feels organic and natural.”

Do you miss working on New Tricks?

“Yes. I had such a lovely time working with Nicholas Lyndhurst, Denis Lawson and Larry Lamb. But nothing lasts forever.”

What’s your involvement with your pal Kate Thorton’s website, TBSeen.com?

“TBSeen.com is a cashback site, but also so much more. Kate was interested in starting a website for some time, but wanted it to be about more than shopping. She did loads of research and looked at her friends and the close relationships we have with each other, so the website is about female friendship, too.”

Are you still recognised as Mel Owen from EastEnders?

“By a certain age group, I am! People of my age and older – younger people tend not to recognise me as her.”

Mel wasn’t killed off… Would you ever go back?

“I’ve never been asked. Honestly. I’ve never had that phone call. I’ve been busy with other things – I mean, it’s not like I’ve been turning it down time and time again. Would I go back? Who knows? I loved the show, had a brilliant time and still have friends there. It’s so long since I left, though. Why ever would Mel go back to Albert Square? To see her ex husband Ian Beale, perhaps? Or maybe Phil Mitchell…”

Have you got a dream role in mind for when How The Other Half Loves finishes?

“I don’t have such a thing as a dream job. I take each day as it comes and I’m so grateful that I’m still working. That’s ambitious enough for me!”

For more on How The Other Half Loves, go to www.trh.co.uk