Hi Laura, thank you very much for agreeing to this, we really appreciate it. So tell me, where are you from?
I am from Ellesmere Port in North West England.
My geography is awful, and have never heard of Ellesmere Port.
It's just on the other side of the River Mersey from John Lennon Airport, Liverpool.
Thanks, I have a picture in my mind now. Did you go to drama school?
I did GCSE drama in school then after school didn't use it until one of my best friends died, and I decided life was too short to waste it doing my full time job.
I was a Catering Supervisor in a place called the Blue Planet Aquarium, I had been there eight years.
I decided to go to College to study musical theatre vocal ( a mix of singing dancing and acting ) It wasn't easy because by that time my eldest son was eighteen months old, plus I was overweight due to illness. I was so overweight that eventually my only option was a gastric bypass.
That must have been a very difficult decision wasn't it?
It was the hardest thing I have ever done! I lost twelve stone in a year!
Goodness! That is a lot! For our Canadian readers, I should say that is a whopping 168 pounds! Does that mean you can eat anything you want now, or do you have to be careful?
I will alway have to be careful, with this type of operation, your stomach goes back to normal after two years, so I eat kid's size meals these days.
Are you happy you did it though, was it worth it?
For me it certainly was. Before it, I would shy away from the public eye, never wanted to be noticed, but after I lost the weight, my confidence grew and grew.
So how did you go from this to being right in the public eye?
A friend of mine was working in television, and asked me to go along to Hollyoaks with her one day, as they needed more people in the background of a wedding.
I went, and never looked back after that!
Did you get yourself an Agent then?
Yes, I am with Pan Artists, and have been very happy with them. I did a few programs after that, some bad but some good. You have to take the rough with the smooth. Coronation Street seemed out of reach for me, I have been brought up watching it, my mum never ever missed it, and I loved it. So when my agent offered it me I was so happy, I felt so so lucky and couldn't wait.
When was this?
I think my first Corrie job was November 2008, and then I became a regular shortly after.
Others have said that for them, the best part of working on Corrie is the people, that they are like family, do you find that?
I have met so many amazing people doing this job a lot of whom you have already interviewed and lots I could call my closest friends. I think we spend so much time together we know absolutely everything about each other, so when we see each other we start up where we left off. Everyone is so friendly and lovely, this includes the cast and crew. Out of all the different productions I have worked on, Coronation Street is the best of them all to work for. Friendly, down to earth people, no one thinks they are above anyone and would never hesitate to help if you need anything.
Many people would give a lot to have a working environment like that. I have hated jobs so much in the past, that I have prayed for the building to have burned down overnight, while walking to work! You are all very lucky there.
I think we all know that, we have a great time there.
You were trained in musical theatre, have you used any of that since leaving college?
No, I haven't done any musicals since I started working on Corrie. I am quite happy where I am, although I'm constantly singing.
I know you were in the recent live episode - you had a fabulous shot inside the bus! But were you in the tram crash live episode too?
Yes I was, I played a nurse in that. I was one of the daft people crying as the last live episode finished, I was so emotional and felt so privileged to be a part of it.
You all did SO well, I really enjoyed both of them. What a tremendous amount of work to get them on the air though, and so many people involved on both sides of the camera.
Which other shows have you done?
I have been a body double in 'Emmerdale'. I've appeared in 'The Driver'. I'm a teacher in the new series of 'The 4 O'clock Club', plus 'Apparitions', I was also a regular in 'Shameless', a lawyer in 'Scott and Bailey', and many others that I can't think of at the moment. I also represented Coronation Street in 'Food Glorious Food', I made a Hotpot.
The stock question I love to ask is, has anything funny happened to you while working on Corrie?
Has anything funny happened to me? To be honest there are constantly funny things happening, you can count on me to trip up a curb, or over my own feet. All the cast are lovely and some quite talkative, it's a pleasure to get to talk to them.
What do you like doing when you are not working? Do you have a family?
I do, I have two children, Charlie and Jack, I love them to bits. The twelve year old can also sing and has done some acting work himself, and the two year old is a character who loves dancing, I have no doubt that he's just like me too. I have a partner, Paul. We have been together for nearly five years now, we started talking on a dating site then decided to meet at Starbucks for a coffee, and just hit it off.
That's great, a dating site success story. So I guess they keep you busy in your off hours?
When I'm not working, I spend time with my friends and the kids. We like to go the zoo quite often. I like to think I'm a people person, I really enjoy other people's company.
You sound pretty satisfied with your lot in life, but do you have any burning ambitions? What do you expect to be doing, say five years from now?
I don't know where I will be five years from now, I take each day as it comes, and I feel lucky to be where I am and enjoying it. It certainly beats sitting in an office any day!
Speaking as someone who spent most of her working life sitting in an office - I believe you - and I'm jealous! LOL!!
Now we know you film several weeks before the episode is aired, without giving anything away, can you tell us where you were the last time you worked on Corrie, and how we might spot you?
I was just there yesterday actually, and was walking the cobbles. I think it will air either Christmas Eve, or the day before Christmas Eve - in one of the scenes I was wearing a Santa hat!
Oh fabulous! OK viewers, your task is to spot the Santa hat with Laura underneath it this Christmas!
Thank you SO much for this Laura, now let's see what you have in your photo gallery:
3D Mascara by Younique
The headlines after Sharon, a Coca Cola rep at the time, picked Pepsi in a taste test!
Did you miss any of our previous interviews? You can find them all listed here in the ARCHIVES
Oh look, Laura's talking to the ghost of Kal - no not really, this was while he was still alive, and she is getting fit in the gym. Nice to see Julie again too.
Tina's funeral with Tina's Mum in front. Laura is arrowed
Looking the picture of a busy Mum, loaded down with baby and shopping, walking past Lloyd
Leanne's non-wedding to Nick
Filming the bus scenes in the live episode 2015
A great shot of Laura on the left, after the tyre blows out on the bus, giving Roy a chance to get on and talk to Cathy
Above we have a couple of pics from the Live Episode in 2010 after the tram crash. Laura was a nurse at the hospital in the background while Kevin was trying to get it across to the doctor that he was available for a blood transfusion for Jack if he should need it, but had to do it without Tyrone catching on that he was Jack's father.
The moment the Live Episode 2015 was over, everyone, cast and crew alike spilled out onto the cobbles and the champagne flowed. This moved on into a fabulous party, where everyone celebrated a job very well done. Laura is arrowed, and at first glance I can also spot Toni West and Adam Bossons, can you see more familiar faces?
Lots of pictures were taken afterwards to mark the historic occasion
A couple of images from 'Food Glorious Food' with Laura busy making her Hotpot
Now let's take a look at Laura in other things. This was an advert for Kellogs.
Here she is again, looking different again. This time it was John Bishop's 'Little Crackers'. Do you recognise Jonny Grimshaw under all that hair on the left?
And in the opening credits of 'Britain's Got the Pop Factor' with Peter Kay
Here she is in the grey cardigan, sitting in the background in 'Shameless'
A couple more from Shameless, sorry the quality isn't very good, but the fellow in the foreground is Qasim Akhtar, who is now playing Zeedan Nazir in Coronation Street.
Now for a couple of personal pics. On the left with partner Paul, and with sons on the right, twelve year old Jack and two year old Charlie
Laura far left
She is with a couple of Background Artists that we have already met in this one. Heidi Jordan and Jonny Grimshaw.
Heidi & Jonny also in this one
Laura 2nd left and Heidi far right
The little boy is Laura's son, Jack - then 7
We will end Laura's Gallery with a special little treat for you. Her son Jack has also starred in a short film called 'Ghosts of the Odeon', and he was fabulous in it! The film is about Chester's 1936 Art Deco Odeon cinema, which closed in 2007, and has stood empty ever since.
In the next few years it will be redeveloped as part of the RE:NEW project, transforming it into a new Cultural Centre in the heart of the city.
Get them acting young! Here is Laura with son Charlie, it is a still from a video she was in about Care in the Community.
There is Laura on the right, gracing the cover page of the CNP Films website