Alison King, best known for playing Coronation Street's Carla Connor, tells us why it was a joy to swap the cobbles for comedy and work alongside Rupert Grint in Sky One's Sick Note...
As feisty Carla Connor in Coronation Street, actress Alison King has lurched from one harrowing storyline to another including doomed marriages, alcoholism and rape, so she was delighted to have a complete change of scene during her time away from the soap last year, to star in series two of dark comedy Sick Note.
Alison, plays Chief Superintendent Christine Henchy, who first appears in episode five of the show which stars Rupert Grint as office worker Daniel Glass, whose life spirals wildly out of control when he discovers he’s been misdiagnosed with terminal cancer.
Here Alison King, 45, talks giggling fits and tells us why she had a blast working alongside the Harry Potter star as well as fellow actor Nick Frost and Hollywood’s Lindsday Lohan…..
TV Times: Tell us about your character Christine Henchy…
Alison King: "She’s a strong woman and quite posh. She’s basically there to keep Officer Hayward (Daniel Rigby) on the straight and narrow because he’s getting increasingly out of control in his frenzy to unravel Daniel (Rupert Grint). She keeps catching him in compromising situations, doing stupid things so has to give him a dressing-down. She’s also quite maternal. Hayward is one of her best officers, she wants him to do well and mentor him and I personally think she quite fancies him!"
TVT: How does she compare to Carla?
AK: "They’re both very strong women but Christine is a lot posher. It was nice to have a complete change and I love doing comedy. I’ve done a lot in the past but not for ages. We try and put as much humour as we can in Corrie but Carla has had a lot of dark storylines recently. It was lovely to be working on something that gives you a lighter feel and you don’t go home exhausted from."
TVT: What was it like working with Rupert Grint?
AK: "He’s an absolute treasure. He’s quiet, beautiful, funny and really down to earth. We got the giggles a lot. He’s a good corpser. He’d just manage to get his face back straight and then we’d both go off again. We filmed in early summer last year and it was scorching hot. I think we became quite delirious!"
TVT: Are you a Harry Potter fan?
AK: "Yes, I’ve seen the films. There was one night when I’d gone out for a drink after work and sitting near us were the biggest Harry Potter fans ever, I could hear them talking about the films. I wanted to say, ‘You’ll never guess who we’ve been working with today!"
TVT: Lindsay Lohan also joins series two playing Katerina, the daughter of Kenny West, (Don Jonson). Was she how you imagined she would be?
AK: "I didn’t really have any preconceptions about her but she was wicked from start to finish. What a babe! She’s got this silky smooth voice and is gorgeous. We had a really nice time together and she seemed like a real sweetheart to me."
TVT: Did you have fun on working alongside Nick Frost?
AK: "Nick is hilarious. Oh my god, the noises he makes and all the little improvisations he does for his character Dr Glennis, he seems to be getting more and more off the wall. It was such a lovely close-knit team to work with. Everyone, the writers, producers and actors would be sitting together in the same room, watching the filming monitors and laughing their heads off. We filmed on location at Watford which is where I filmed Dream Team, my first big acting job 20 years ago, so it brought back a lot of nice memories arriving at Watford Junction every day."
TVT: How’s it been returning to Corrie?
AK: "It’s been chocka recently and pretty intense with the fallout out from Aidan’s suicide but at the same time I like it when the Connors are in the thick of everything. They are a strong force to be reckoned with. I’m also enjoying Carla having more scenes with Peter (Chris Gascoyne). That’s been fun."
TVT: How do you switch off when you’re not working?
AK: "I live half an hour away from the Corrie studios, so the drive home is my time to switch off. I also like a bit of yoga and meditation. I’ve got a couple of weeks of holiday booked so I’m looking forward to spending that with my daughter Daisy."
TVT: What TV do you like and are you a Love Island fan?
AK: "No, I’m not watching Love Island, it’s not my thing and as a mum of a daughter I just wouldn’t watch it. I’m massively into season three of The Affair, and I love the crime drama The Sinner and also The Staircase which I’ve been watching on Netflix. It’s gripping!"
Sick Note begins on Thursday July 26, 10pm, on Sky One. Series One is available to watch on Sky Box Sets
Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and WhattoWatch.com She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.
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