Kara Tointon: ‘Singing jazz in The Halcyon was so much fun’ (VIDEO)

Kara Tointon spills the beans on singing for her supper in ITV's new wartime hotel drama The Halcyon

Kara Tointon has loved flexing her vocal cords as fun-loving hotel jazz singer Betsey Day in ITV’s new drama The Halcyon, which is set in a London hotel during the Second World War.

The former EastEnders actress – who last sang on TV when she played Maria in The Sound of Music Live at Christmas 2015 – has relished the challenge of singing hits from the era as well as original songs that have been penned for the series.

"Singing for this job was the most exciting part because it is quite a new thing for me, but this pushed me to do some jazz, which was fun," she told What’s On TV.

"We have these incredible original songs, which sound like they are from the time, with a bit of sassiness to them and I got to see the orchestra recording so it was a whole different world that usually you wouldn’t get to see."

The glitzy 1940s costumes in The Halcyon have also been a highlight after the looser style she donned in 1920s-set drama Mr Selfridge.

"I lucked out when it came to costumes; it is such a flattering time for women. When I was filming [Mr Selfridge] in 1929, I felt like a frumpy librarian most of the time!" said Kara, who believes that the period drama could prove just as popular as the likes of Mr Selfridge and Downton Abbey.

"The Halcyon has a bit of a grit to it and it is vibrant and very fast-paced. I just got hooked on these characters, you just fall in love with them."

The Halcyon screens on ITV on Monday 2nd January at 9pm.


Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.