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TV Interview

Lacey Turner talks 'Our Girl', reality TV, 'EastEnders'

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Lacey Turner returns to BBC One this weekend in the highly emotional army drama Our Girl.

The ex-EastEnders stars plays troubled teen Molly Dawes, who turns her life around by signing for the army and heading out to Afghanistan. Digital Spy caught up with Lacey to chat about the show, 'Enders and why she really can't stand Come Dine With Me.

Lacey Turner in Our Girl

© BBC

Lacey Turner in Our Girl



Did you ever contemplate joining the army when you were younger?
"Ha. No, I can't say that I ever really had the desire to join the army. I still don't. I think I'm too much of a wimp actually. I could do the training and everything, but I don't think I would ever be able to get up those steps and get on that plane and go to Afghanistan, I'd be far too scared."

What training did you do for the show?
"I did quite a lot of training actually. I thought I was quite fit and I said to one of the corporals, 'I go to the gym everyday, I think I'm fit', and was quite proud of myself. And she said there's civilian fit and army fit and I thought, 'Right, OK, I'd better get on the weights'."

Did anything shock you?
"I didn't think that I was really going to see many women and I was shocked when I got there that there were so many women of the same sort of age and build and size to me. It was such an eye-opener.

"I just said to these girls, 'Why do you want to join the army?' It was the first question I needed to know really because obviously I've never felt that need myself. Some of them said it was because they can't get a job, others came from a family of people who have joined the army or been in some sort of military group.

"And a lot of the girls were from similar backgrounds to Molly where there's nothing going on in their lives and they just wanted to better themselves and I think they get such a great feeling from that of achieving so much there."

Lacey Turner in Our Girl.

© BBC

Lacey Turner in Our Girl



What can you tell us about your character Molly Dawes?
"She's at an age in her life where she hasn't really left East Ham, East Ham is all she knows. Her friends are there, her family's there, her job's there. She doesn't really have much reason to leave East Ham.

"She looks at her mum and her mum's now about to have her seventh child. She's constantly picking up cans of lager and tidying up toys and I think Molly looks at her mum and thinks, 'I don't want that life', and she can see that it's the way it's going."

Is she quite similar to your EastEnders character Stacey Slater?
"It's the same sort of idea. It's a girl with really not much going for her really. The drama started based on the idea of a girl from a council estate who isn't really going anywhere. There are so many girls like that. The whole idea around it is that there are opportunities no matter how stuck you think you are."

You've been very successful since leaving EastEnders. Did you do a lot of planning before you left the show?
"I never really make plans because then when you get there you never really want to do what you've arranged to do. I just felt I'd done my time and achieved everything I wanted to achieve and more at EastEnders. I left just out of curiosity really. I didn't have a plan.

"If I read a script and I love it then I will do it and if I'm not so keen then I won't. I'm enjoying myself."

Lacey Turner as Molly in Our Girl.

© BBC

Lacey Turner as Molly in Our Girl



Have you deliberately avoided reality shows?
"I don't think I could do any of them anyway. I'm not brave enough. I don't like anything where I have to be me!"

What shows would you love to appear in?
"I would love to do a period drama and there are obviously so many of them about at the moment. That's something that I would love to do. It's definitely on my list of things to do."

You're up for the corsets and bonnets?
"Yeah, that's so exciting. How often do you get to dress up like that?"

What TV do you hate?
"I hate Come Dine With Me. I feel bad for saying it but I hate it. Everyone double-dips. Who does that? Who tastes it and then puts the spoon back in the saucepan? It's horrible!

"Every time you watch Come Dine With Me someone does it. I have to turn over, it's horrible."

Lacey Turner in Our Girl.

© BBC

Lacey Turner in Our Girl



It says on your wiki page that you're going to be in Doctor Who. Is that rubbish?
"I wouldn't believe anything on Wikipedia because it says I was born somewhere that I wasn't. So I wouldn't believe Wikipedia. No, I'm not going into Doctor Who, although that would be great!"

What's the strangest thing you've read about yourself?
"I read the other day that I was obsessed with Mr Selfridge and I haven't even watched it yet! So yeah, you definitely can't believe anything you read."

Our Girl airs on Sunday, March 24 at 9pm on BBC One.

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