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Soaps Interview

'Coronation Street' Lisa George talks Beth role, Inside Soap Awards

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Lisa George as Beth Tinker in Coronation Street

© ITV

Coronation Street factory worker Beth Tinker has kept fans chuckling in recent months, never short of something to say at Underworld and The Rovers.

In real life, Lisa George - who plays the mum-of-one - has been nominated for 'Best Newcomer' at the 2012 Inside Soap Awards, appearing on the longlist with co-star Natalie Gumede (Kirsty Soames) and a number of faces from the other soaps.

Digital Spy recently chatted to Lisa about the nomination and Beth's future on the cobbles.

Congratulations on your nomination for 'Best Newcomer' at the Inside Soap Awards. How does it feel to be in the running?
"I'm really pleased and I was very surprised to be nominated. I didn't expect it at all, so I was just really shocked!"

How do you rate your chances?
"Well, to be honest with you, I think Natalie Gumede is doing an amazing job and I think it'll probably go to her, because she's just brilliant. If I don't win, I won't mind at all, because it's just really nice to be nominated - that's quite lovely in itself."

Is there anything you'd say for why fans should vote for you?
"Well, if people enjoy a bit of light relief, they're liking the character and she brings a smile to their face, then why not vote for Beth?"

We first saw you in Corrie for two episodes last August. Did you ever imagine that Beth would later become a regular?
"God no, not at all! All I knew was that I was contracted for two episodes, so that's what I concentrated on. I never imagined for a minute that the character would come back - it didn't even enter my head. It was a huge shock when they said that they might bring me back. I couldn't believe it, really!"

Lisa George

© WENN

Inside Soap Awards 2012 Logo

© Inside Soap Magazine



How did you find your first scenes with Simon Gregson and Katherine Kelly in those initial episodes?
"Oh, they were so brilliant and fab - I was really excited that I was working with those two. I had met Simon Gregson before because I'd done other small appearances on Corrie, but he and Katherine were really encouraging. Simon is so easy to work with, too. You can say, 'Can I put this into the scene?' and he'll say 'Yes' straight away. He's just really easy-going."

How are you finding your time on the show now that you're a regular?
"The time has gone by really quickly. It's been nine months now since I was brought back, and the first six months in particular absolutely flew by. The working weeks also seem to go by so quickly, probably because I'm enjoying it so much. You think, 'Oh, is it the weekend already?' It's unbelievable."

What kind of a reaction have you had for the role of Beth?
"I've had some really lovely comments. There's been a nice reaction from fan letters - people have been writing in to say that they think Beth is really funny and they're loving her character. I think people like that she's so loud and she says things that aren't very PC!

"There's one particular letter that I've put on my pinboard. It's from a guy who's disabled so he's not able to get out much, but he said, 'I'd love to go out for a drink with Beth - she'd just make my day and be so fun to spend time with'. I just thought that was so sweet. I've had lots of really nice things said to me, which is great because you obviously want people to like your character."

Do you get recognised much when you're out and about?
"No, not at all! It's great - I can get away with it when I'm out of costume. There's only a couple of times that I've been recognised when I'm in Manchester, but back home in Leeds I don't get recognised at all."

Is there anyone in particular who you've made friends with on set?
"I get on really, really well with Shobna, who plays Sunita. We've got a mutual friend, who suggested that I should get to know her once I started on Corrie. So I've been round to her place for a meal after work."

Beth flirts with a terrified Steve in the pub

© ITV

Tracy gets a shock when the front door opens and Beth walks in with her son Craig

© ITV



Can we expect to see more scenes with Beth's son Craig (played by Colson Smith)?
"I haven't seen him for a while actually, but I know he's contracted for a few months like myself, so I'm sure he'll be in the show again. We keep in touch with texts and Facebook messages. He actually came in on the set the other day, but I was out so I missed him!"

Would you like the viewers to meet Craig's father at some point?
"It could be interesting! I've recently had to comment on him in a scene, saying that he'd legged it as soon as he found out that Beth was pregnant. It's been a long time since he's seen Craig - he possibly never has. So it'd be a shock if he did come onto the Street!"

Beth's unlikely friendship with Tracy Barlow has also been funny to watch…
"Oh God, I love those scenes. I love working with Kate Ford, and I think we've got a really good chemistry together."

How do you feel about people comparing Beth to Cilla Battersby-Brown?
"I don't want Beth to be like Cilla at all. I admit that I do look a bit like her, and I have been compared to her in the past when I've done other things like panto.

"But I don't think that Beth is as callous as Cilla was. Cilla didn't care for her kids, but Beth is really soft. She comes across as gobby and harsh, but she's a very different character to Cilla. I'd like to think that people see that."

Beth is an extreme character, but are there any ways you can relate to her?
"Definitely - from when I was poor and working in a factory! I understand what it's like to struggle for money."

You've been in the industry for a long time, but how does it feel to have a regular, high-profile role?
"It's amazing. To act every day is just a dream, really. It's what you always want as an actor, so Coronation Street is just a perfect job - it's fab.

"It's been a long journey to get to this point. It's weird, because people assume that you haven't done anything else before, but actually I've been doing it for 16 years now. If people don't see you on telly, they sometimes forget that you might have done theatre and other things. I've been in the business for quite a long time, doing acting and singing. I do a lot of singing - and I actually still teach singing as well."

How long are you definitely staying with Corrie for?
"At the moment, I'm waiting to hear whether my contract will be renewed. I've definitely got a few more months here either way, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will continue after that."

> Read the full longlist of nominations for the 2012 Inside Soap Awards
> Read more 'Coronation Street' spoilers and news

The 2012 Inside Soap Awards - sponsored by online fashion retailer boohoo.com - take place in September. Voting is open via the Inside Soap website.

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays on ITV1. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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