Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

TV Interview

Abi Titmuss ('Hotel Babylon')

By
Abi Titmuss ('Hotel Babylon')
Former nurse and glamour girl Abi Titmuss has become a nun. No, the Celebrity Love Island and lads' mag favourite hasn't given up flashing the flesh for a life of celibacy and solitude, but she can be found donning a habit on this week's episode of Hotel Babylon. We gave Abi call to find out more about her role as Sister Violet and got to the bottom of various scurrilous rumours about the brassy Lincolnshire beauty.

How did you get involved with Hotel Babylon?
"First of all, I got asked to do a cameo role playing myself going into the hotel, like quite a lot of celebrities do. I told them that I was really sorry, but I really didn't want to do that. I said that I would love to be on the show, but I'm a trained actress and I don't want to just be Abi Titmuss. I just said, 'If there's any chance of me doing another part, please let me know'. So I met the casting director, who filmed me and said they would get back to me. It took a year and I thought I'd blown it, but then they came back with the character of a nun! I think is just one the best bits of casting ever."

What can you tell us about your character, Sister Violet?
"Sister Violet is sweet caring nun. I'm not sure how much I can say, but basically all the characters meet up in a hotel for a reason, something happens and Sister Violet has something to do with it. She is a proper lovely nun and not a naughty nun. But she's just a bit accident prone."

Did you do any method acting and research for life as a nun? Take home the habit costume to practise?
"Haha no, I didn't. I went to a Catholic school as a girl, where we were sometimes taught by nuns and priests, so I just recalled my memories."

You've done lots of theatre work. Would you like to break through and do mainstream TV?
"I'd love to do a period drama or something like a Miss Marple or Poirot. I like doing things where I don't look like me. Hence my joy at playing a nun with the full habit. I'd love to do a soap. They're the staple diet of the UK and rightly so. They come up with some terrific storylines and have some great actors in them. Actually, the one thing I would love to do is play a nurse one day. When I was working on the wards, the other nurses would say, 'Abi, we'll know you've made it when you play a nurse.' So something like Holby City or Casualty would be brilliant."

Have you had lots of requests to appear in TV shows without very many clothes on?
"When I did my first ever play in 2006, it was an Arthur Miller play and I won an award for that, so I thought it was all going to be really easy. But the first five scripts that I got after that, were 'Act One, Abi's clothes fall off'. I think it's great to be wanted for any type of work as an actress, but I wanted to stretch myself and stop playing myself all the time. If I was offered a film with loads of sex scenes and nudity, I'd have to assess how good it was. If it was working with Woody Allen, then I'd obviously take it!"

Have you turned your back on reality TV now?
"I've done that and I had a brilliant time doing it. I'm very grateful for those opportunities - I mean, living on a desert Island near Fiji for six weeks was pretty cool on Love Island - but I'd like to move on from that now. But, you know, I did Celebrity Come Dine With Me and that went down a storm. I've never had as many texts and calls after being on any show. So some reality shows can be a very enjoyable experience, but acting is where I am now."

Can we clarify some rumours about you that often circulate online? Is it true you turned down Mickey Rourke's advances?
"This was probably three of four years ago at V Festival. He got his people to call me and go over and meet him for a talk. I suppose that's just what he does. I was dating Lee Sharpe at the time and he said, 'Go on babe, it's Mickey Rourke! Go and say hello to him, but don't go home with him.' He asked me out to go out a party that night and I just said, 'I would absolutely love to actually, but I'm with Lee'. I just told him to crack on and my exact words were, 'There's loads of girls here, I'm sure you won't have any trouble!'"

Is it true that you regularly play poker naked?
"Erm... sometimes, yes. I do play poker a lot and I play online. If you're online, no one can see you! That's the great thing about being online, you can sit down and play any time of day, wearing anything. Sometimes I'm naked, sometimes I'm in very unsexy, fluffy pyjamas. I also played in the World Series of Poker last year with Ben Affleck. He was sat next to me and trying not to stare at my boobs. I was wearing a low-cut top as part of my strategy. I think it worked!"

Finally, did you really say the following quote: "I love sex. I've always been really good with my tongue and it's very long, girls love it as well"?
"I'm so glad that you asked me this! Because this is one of those lines that I have never, ever, ever, ever said! It's not even something I would have dreamed of saying in my heyday, when my job was just taking my clothes off. There's various other quotes like that which always come back up, but I would never be that crude. I may talk about sex in a funny way for a glamour shoot. If you're posing in your bra and pants for Loaded, you're not going to give quotes about classical music and Latin. But I would never come up with something as crude as that!"

You may have not said it, but is it true?
"Of course it's not true! I don't even have a long tongue, it's just utterly ridiculous. Who on Earth made that up I don't know! When I was working in that industry things just started to spiral out of control, because when someone writes something like that, it's there in print forever. There's another one where I apparently said: 'I'm not like the other girls, I really love sex, I'm dirty and bad'. Even the grammar of it, it's just not how I would speak. Sorry for getting on my soap box about that, but I just wanted to set the record straight on that one."

Do you have any regrets about your time glamour modelling?
"I do regret allowing myself to become so sexualised by the media, but I was just trying to make the best of it. I've now taken some semblance of control for myself, but it's been difficult. I don't really regret any of it though. I wouldn't be speaking to you now without it all. It's been six years now since it all happened and what did I really do? If a male model had done underwear shots, no one would give a monkeys. So what, I've had some sex, big deal! Like Marilyn Monroe said, 'Big tits, big ass, big deal. How long can you be sexy?'"

Hotel Babylon returns Friday, June 19 at 9pm on BBC One.

You May Like