Natalie Gumede: 'When an actress is given a gift of a part like Jekyll & Hyde, you run with it!' (VIDEO)

Former Coronation Street star Natalie Gumede says her role as Hyde's girlfriend Bella in ITV's Jekyll and Hyde is 'a gift of a part' and a bit of a TV rarity – a strong role for an actress.

Natalie talked to What's on TV about the ambitious thriller series, created by The Fast Show star Charlie Higson, a 1930s reboot of the classic Jekyll & Hyde tale incorporating global espionage and sci-fi monsters .

She said: "What a brilliant gift Charlie has given everybody within the show. When we sat around the read-through table and saw the mix of people playing these wonderful rich characters, we thought, we're part of something quite magical here.

"Like it or not there are not always strong female characters to play. We do sort of have to fit into smaller and smaller boxes that perhaps our male counterparts as actors don't always have to do, so when we're given a gift of a part like this, that Charlie's created and ITV has put together, you run with it, you know – this is a wonderful opportunity."

Natalie first came to the public's attention playing unhinged Kirsty Soames in Corrie before excelling in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.

Watch Natalie talk about Jekyll and Hyde and reveal who she thinks would win in a punch-up between Bella and Jekyll's girlfriend, Lily (Stephanie Hyam). "]

Jekyll and Hyde continues on ITV on Sunday.

Patrick McLennan

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.