Michelle Keegan has confessed she feared she would be in Coronation Street her “whole life”.
The actress was swiftly recruited to play Lance Corporal Georgie Lane in BBC war drama Our Girl after she waved goodbye to Weatherfield and her first starring role as Tina McIntyre in 2014.
Twitter erupted with praise for the 29-year-old beauty when the second series kicked off last week and scenes aired that saw her character at the centre of a sinister kidnapping plot. And her husband Mark Wright lead the applause, writing: “She astounds me more every day. A truly sensational performance!”
In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain today, Michelle admitted she could have continued treading the cobbles and followed in the footsteps of soap veterans Helen Worth and Beverley Callard, who play Gail McIntyre and Liz McDonald, by staying put.
When reminded of the risk she took by turning her back on popular Corrie, she said: “I played Tina for six and a half years so it was a hard decision to leave. And I loved every second I was there. But if I didn’t leave when I did then I would have been there my whole life. Which I could have been. But I wanted to get out and challenge myself.”
But she’s is clearly delighted with the reaction Our Girl has garnered from viewers, especially because filming the series in South Africa was extremely challenging, adding: “It was so challenging, we had a great team behind us, the cast and crew were amazing. It was so overwhelming.”
Aside from all the focus on her rocketting career, Michelle’s relationship with Mark endured its fair share of tabloid scrutiny whilst she was away and the actress sent a clear message when she insisted they are doing “really well” and are enjoying settling back into a regular routine.
The Northern actress – who relocated to Essex to be with the former TOWIE star – told Richard Arnold: “It’s going really well thank you. It’s back to normality now. I’m home and we’ve just been eating lots of take aways in front of the telly. We just do normal things really.”
Elsewhere, Michelle – who sported bleached blonde hair for her role as Bobby Moore’s wife Tina in the upcoming TV biopic Bobby and Tina, filmed in France – didn’t rule out taking on more work and said she’d happily relocate to the US if Hollywood beckoned.
She said: “To be fair, everyone always says would you move, but if a job came along I’d jump at the chance, oh yeah, you’ve got to go where the work is!”