Sally Lindsay: Reese Witherspoon is a huge inspiration to me as a producer

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Sally Lindsay arrives at The Writers' Guild Awards 2020 held at the Royal College of Physicians, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sally Lindsay at The Writers' Guild Awards 2020 (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Sally Lindsay, known for her roles in Coronation Street, The Royle Family and Mount Pleasant, has named her inspirations saying she is a 'big, big fan' of Reese Witherspoon as well as Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda.

Lindsay is creative director of Saffron Cherry, the company behind the Channel 5 series Madame Blanc, and other factual and children's shows.

Speaking to Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time, she said having her own company had secretly always been a dream of hers and she was 'standing on the shoulders' of the women who had blazed a trail before her.

When Thornton called her the 'the Reese Witherspoon of the North', Lindsay's reply was: "I wish I had her legs!"

WATCH: Sally Lindsay on being inspired by Reese Witherspoon

She added: "I'm a big big fan of Reese. She's one of my inspirations actually, her and Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda, all these amazing women that own their own productions.

"And I think that's always been secretly a dream of mine, inside. It came out when we formed the company three years ago, but to big fruition sort of last year.

"Those women are absolutely trailblazers. We're standing on the shoulders of those giants, and Reese is just amazing."

Listen to the full episode to hear about Posh Sleepover, how she created Scott & Bailey and the changes she's seeing the the TV industry

She went on to tell Thornton why it was so important to her to have more of a say in the programmes being made as she headed towards being "a woman of a certain age" in the industry, and why being creative director at Saffron Cherry meant so much to her.

She said: "I come from a different angle in the fact that I was in fear of getting to an age where if I wasn't on the list of six actresses, then I wouldn't be working.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1574 -- Pictured: Actress Reese Witherspoon during an interview on Thursday, December 17, 2021 -- (Photo by: Theo Wargo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Reese Witherspoon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Theo Wargo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

"Which is ridiculous. Because if you're a man, the list is much bigger. And you can be much older. And you can have a lot younger women next to you, and it's still the same.

"It really, really annoyed me as a feminist. It really got on me nerves! So I think that was where it came from when we formed the company three years ago.

Loose Women Andrea McLean, Denise Welch, Lisa Maxwell and Sally Lindsay arriving for the Pride of Britain awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.   (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Loose Women Andrea McLean, Denise Welch, Lisa Maxwell and Sally Lindsay arriving for the Pride of Britain awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

"But it's been a joy ever since. Because we've really found out who we are as a company."

Lindsay played Shelley Unwin in Coronation Street for five years from 2001. She said she was "lucky" she had the chance to appear on the soap, but that at first she was only given seven episodes to prove herself.

Read more: Amanda Barrie: I'd have been sacked for coming out while in Coronation Street

She said: "I always say Coronation Street was my training, and I was lucky enough to work really hard.

"I think a lot of people when they join Coronation Street, think it's all about being famous and going to awards. And that's it, you're made.

"And you're not, you're really not. It's the most precarious job ever. Because every one and a half years a new producer comes in and if they don't like you, you're out. Then all of a sudden you're 'that bird that was on the telly ages ago'.

Sally Lindsay hosting Tenable (Endemol Productions/ITV)
Sally Lindsay hosting Tenable (Endemol Productions/ITV)

"I was only given seven episodes, that was all, it wasn't a done deal that I was the new landlady at the Rovers. Absolutely not.

"But I worked so hard at those seven scripts, because I wanted it, I really wanted it and I think it's having that sort of direction, of taking every single opportunity you've got and wringing it raw.

"I'm not saying I've taken every opportunity because I would be superhuman but I've taken most of them and and turned it into something else."

WATCH: Sally Lindsay on creating Scott & Bailey with Suranne Jones

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting