Hi Eve, thank you for agreeing to share your story with us. What were you doing before you moved to Weatherfield?
After leaving school I worked in various secretarial roles mainly office based from junior up to PA. Throughout my working career I have from time to time worked as a temp covering secretarial duties working for various companies including solicitors, the police, the NHS and the prison service arranging training courses etc.
Now I work as a Supporting Artiste and appear in Coronation Street - I have worked for a good number of years on the Street and have seen most of the big stories unfold.
In which set are we most likely to spot you? Do you work in a variety of roles, or are you one character in particular?
I can be in any location but obviously when in the café or Rovers I am easier to spot.
Which other shows have you worked on?
Oh quite a few, many of which you have probably seen in Canada. Here we go: A & E, A Thing called love, Afternoon Plays, Brookside, Clocking off, Cold Blood, Crossroads, Cutting It, Dalziel & Pascoe, Doctors, Hollyoaks, Merseybeat, Playing the field, Spine Chillers, Sweet Medicine, The Royal, Where the heart is and Calendar Girls.
Wow, that is quite a lineup! Can you tell us anything about any of these other roles? Did you have any speaking parts in any of them?
When I worked on Brookside I had to say a few words. I started work at around 9.10am in the morning and within half an hour the scene had been shot so I was able to go home, which was lovely.
One episode of 'The Royal' - hospital drama, I was a patient and was in bed all day being filmed so that was no great effort - I enjoyed that part. However, I did another production and was asked to arrive without make up and my hair scraped back - which I did. I thought no one will see or recognise me. To my surprise I played a nurse and the principal artist awoke from an operation to see me within an inch of their face - of course everyone I know happened to see this episode!
Ha ha yes, I believe they call that sod's law don't they? :-)
During the last ten years or so, I decided to cut my office work to four days per week, so I could accept work as a 'Background Artiste' on various productions. I worked on the film 'Calendar Girls', part of which was filmed in the Burnsall in the Yorkshire Dales. As the filming took place in August it was lovely weather, and the cast were very friendly and a delight to work with.
I hope you didn't have to remove your clothes for this role? What part did you play? Did you get to meet Helen Mirren?
I did keep my clothes on for Calendar Girls (so there was no need for considerably larger buns). I played one of the WI committee ladies. One of the scenes I appeared in was when Helen Mirren won first prize in the cake competition for her Victoria sponge. I was on the stage when she was presented with the winning prize. We did get to work closely with the principals including Helen, Julie and Celia.
I also won a competition to attend the premier evening of Calendar Girls which took place in London and Leeds - needless to say I went to the Leeds event - which was lovely. (Photos below)
At the end of 2008 I decided to take some time out to pursue more TV work and as yet I have not returned to secretarial work. I always seem to be busy and I don't know how I found the time to work.
I find it interesting that you refer to your office job as work, but not your jobs on set. Are you one of those lucky people who manages to make money doing something they love?
I did not realise I had not referred to my work Coronation Street as 'work'. I suppose yes I am fortunate enough to be doing something I really enjoy and getting paid at the same time. But I still meet up with colleagues from previous employments and go out for lunch on a regular basis.
Have you ever had to speak in Coronation Street?
I have, but it is usually to say 'thank you' in the Rovers or café.
Now, if you don't mind me getting a bit personal, are you married? Children?
I don't mind at all. I am married with a daughter who is also married and lives in Scotland with her husband and family. I enjoy visiting Scotland.
What do you like to do when you are not treading the cobbles?
I enjoy eating out, antique fairs, doing crosswords not to mention shopping for clothes and shoes (of which I have a great collection).
Oh yes! A girl after my own heart! I love all those things too. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I have 60 plus pairs, spread across four wardrobes! Whew! That's a lot, now I'm really jealous!
When you watch television, what type of programmes interest you?
I like quiz programmes and anything period drama - Downton Abbey, Paradise etc. I also love Judge John Deed in which Martin Shaw plays the lead role as a Judge. I like Martin Shaw very much and several years ago Wendy and I did a programme and she was describing the lead male to me but I couldn't figure out who she meant. We went on location to a pub in Manchester and I was told to go and stand next to a man at the bar and when he turned around I nearly fainted - yes you guessed, it was Martin Shaw.
Oh my, that answers my next question, which was, have you met anyone famous?
I also appeared in a scene with Robert Vaughan (who played Roy Cropper's mother, Sylvia's boyfriend). This scene was in the pub and he pushed past me when she was singing and playing the banjo.
I found a screen grab of this, and have added it to your gallery below. Incidentally, I too love Downton and Paradise - they are both wonderful! However, Paradise hasn't reached Canada yet, but no doubt it will. I am also a huge fan of 'Jeopardy', an American quiz show. Do you get that over there?
No we don't, I like to watch the 'Weakest Link, 'The Chase' and 'Breakaway'. Ah yes, The Chase has Bradley Walsh (Danny Baldwin) as compere, we still have a Corrie connection! :-)
What do you like the most about being a Supporting Artiste?
I enjoy doing this work and the other supporting artistes have such great stories to tell about the work they did especially a lot of people who were performers in the 1960's. It is always great to catch up with each other from time to time. The thing about doing this kind of work is that there is a lot of waiting around - so you have to be patient, make sure you have enough outfits for the scenes you are doing plus a couple of changes - just in case you are needed for anything else on the day.
So you have to supply your own clothes then? Are they not issued to you by Wardrobe?
We have to provide our own clothes for Coronation Street. The idea is that as a supporting artiste you blend into the background and do not stand out. Therefore you need to wear pastel colours in spring and summer and autumnal colours in autumn and winter. You have to be aware of the season when the episode is to be transmitted to ensure you are dressed appropriately. Sometimes you may be specifically asked to play a part e.g. nurse, policewoman or doctor etc - then 'Wardrobe' would provide the costumes.
When I worked on the 'Royal' hospital drama; as it was set in the 1960's I was provided with costumes from that era.
And the worst part of the job?
The thing I am not so keen on is the early morning starts as Wendy (Saxon) and I sometimes leave home at 5.45am as we live in Yorkshire to get to the studio for an 8.00 am start.
It's nice that you can travel in together, must make the journey seem quicker. 5:45 a.m. really is a ridiculous time to start the day though!
Someone else told us you have to do what is called 'silent talking', is this hard to do without laughing sometimes?
I don't find it difficult to do 'silent talking' but when someone else gets the giggles it can become infectious.
Were you a fan of Coronation Street before you landed a job there? If so, do you have any special Corrie memorabilia of your own?
I have always been a fan of Coronation Street and used to watch it with my mother. I do not have any particular memorabilia though.
Do you hope one day to get a speaking role? Or are you happy to stay in the background?
It is always nice to get a few words to say when filming but I am very happy with being in the background also.
Eve, it has been a real pleasure getting to know you. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us for a little while.