Hi Sharon, it's lovely to meet you, thank you for sitting down with us. Why don't we start right back in your childhood, did you have brothers and sisters?
Yes, my parents gave us a very happy childhood growing up in Worksop with two brothers and three sisters.
Were you a confident child?
I was, but I couldn't wait to leave school and see what the world had to offer. So right afterwards I took off to Jersey and got a job with Pontins in Plemont Bay for a season. That job gave me the bug, and was responsible for my lifelong love of entertaining.
So after there, I went on to be a Bluecoat at Pontins in Hembsy, Great Yarmouth and loved every minute of it. I used to sing and dance and generally have a ball with all the campers ha ha.
I remember Pontins and Butlins were in business when I was a child, and that was a very long time ago! I am pleased to hear they are still around for holidaymakers.
There are not as many now, in fact Plemont is closed, but there are still some.
So did you decide to go into show business from there?
I always wanted to do more acting and entertaining in my twenties, but having children and running a business it never really happened..... although I did have a makeover on 'This Morning' Television twenty six years ago and still have the recording, lol, I then appeared in 'Woman's Own' magazine and really enjoyed modelling although it never really took off.
Running a business? What did come next for you Sharon?
A total change of career! I moved North and became a pub landlady - in fact I ran three pubs altogether with my first husband.
Really? Which pubs were they?
The first was The Heifer in Sandbeds Keighley, West Yorkshire. This is where my son Liam, now 29 was born. We managed this pub for two years, then moved to The Fletchers Arms on Stockport Road in Denton. My daughter Stacey, now 26 was born during the six years we were there.
After that we had The Hare and Hounds at Werneth Low in Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire. After two years there, my marriage came to an end, and I left the pub business.
Oh my, so you were single again with two young children to raise. What did you do?
I did a 'Return to Work' programme at college for a while, and also did a 'Legal Executive' course before starting a full time job as a restaurant manager at the Village Hotel in Bury, which I did for eight years.
How did you meet your second husband?
I met Simon on a blind date on December 7th 2002, Lily was born on 18th August 2006 and we got married on 31st August 2007. I left Village Bury to look after my daughter in 2007. When Lily was four years old I got a job with ICTS which is the security for US Airways at Manchester Airport. I loved the job and stayed there for two and a half years. It was thanks to working there that I got into Extra work. A colleague mentioned he did it and I thought I would love to do that..... but it wasn't until my friend got a job with Industry Casting that I applied, which is now three years ago.
In the meantime, I also started working for Manchester United ..... it was then that I decided to leave the airport and just concentrate on the Extra work and Manchester United. However, I also decided to go to acting school at David Johnson's School of Acting in Manchester I really enjoyed David's classes and enjoyed learning new skills. I got a few walk on jobs at Hollyoaks, although I never saw them as I dont watch it!
What do you do at Manchester United?
I am a Hostess, my duties are to welcome clients into my suite which is Salford Suite 2 and to make sure they have a great time and also to check the tickets against their bookings and to generally look after them.
Forgive my ignorance, but are these VIP clients, who have paid a lot more for their ticket than the usual fan?
There are lots of different packages that are available at Man United, in my case I look after 189 clients (I do this with my colleague Jane ) they will come to the suite 5 hours before the match and have a 3 course meal which is served by our waiting on staff. There are two bars also that is open to others who want to have a drink before and after the match. The seats they have are normally more superior to those that are just coming to see the match with a standard ticket.
You can tell I have never been to a football match in my life, I thought you just bought a ticket, threw on your scarf, picked up your rattle and off you go! Then if your team loses you wreak havoc on the train home! I had no idea there are different packages available.
When I first saw you in 'Come Dine With Me', I was very taken with your house. It looks very old, and you were saying that Simon has done a lot of the work on it himself, is there a history behind it?
The story behind it is that hundreds of years ago it was known as the witches cottage. Two sisters lived and died there. My husband Simon used to run past the house, which was then derelict, when he was a teenager, and always dreamed that one day he would own it and renovate it to its former glory. Years later he found out who owned it, and bought the property. He lived in a caravan on the grounds while he carried out the extensive work. It used to be a cottage and a working Mill. Simon is a stonemason and builder who is very talented. I met him when he had just bought the property. He has now been renovating our house since 2001. We were approached by a BBC1 programme called 'Britain's Empty Homes' with the presenter Jules Hudson. They came and filmed us for three days, it was fun, and Simon got to show his amazing talent. It was filmed on Lily's 4th birthday, 18th August, 2010. Simon got a lot of work and publicity from the programme for his business Simon Stanton Natural Stonework Specialist.
I am very curious about 'Come Dine With Me'. I have watched this show before, and always wondered a few things. How do you get selected to go on it? Is it scripted? For instance, it can get pretty vicious the way people talk about the other couples behind their backs, is that all staged? Do you get paid whether you win or not?
Because of the publicity from the 'Britain's Empty Homes' programme, when the opportunity came, I applied to 'Couples Come Dine with Me' as I thought Simon's work would be on national TV again. Apparently there were over 10,000 couples that applied for the show just from the North West Manchester area.
I got a phone call from a guy called Woody soon after I applied and he asked a few questions, then phoned Simon and chatted to him, after that they came and interviewed us on camera to see how we were in front of the camera, and how confident and comfortable we were with each other.
We got the gig, and and as you have seen, we went ahead and filmed the programme. The filming lasts all week - they probably did eighty hours of filming for a one hour show!! Nothing is scripted although the editing is amazing as they missed so much out, but that's the name of the game. We had so much fun, and would do it all again. In the week before they started filming, Simon made a 9ft table, put electrics in the new lounge, and plastered, decorated and fitted a log burner, lined the chimney, and went to work every day - Phew! He was so very busy. I was too, in the same week of filming, I did two days on Corrie, an advert and a match at Man United! LOL!!
You dont get paid for it, although they do give you £125 towards your food etc. We didn't say anything bad about anyone ourselves, but when I saw it back, I noticed how they were a little mean to us. But we still thought it was funny...... they already know how they are going to portray each couple..... Matt and Amy were the young fun couple.......Paula and Andy, the homely couple.....Simon and I, the posh stuck up couple, ha ha!
Were you with Industry Casting very long before you got the call to do Coronation Street?
No, I actually got a job on Corrie very early on, I think it was my third or fourth job. Over the past twelve months I have been a regular. I sometimes can get three to four jobs a month, although I have only had three Corrie jobs since January. I believe its quiet at the moment....the next booking I have on Corrie is the 13th March, which will be Gayle and Michael's wedding reception. I mainly get booked for the Bistro, although I've also done the Café, Rovers and the Street.
OK then, let's talk about your Extra work. Which other productions have you appeared in?
I have been in Last Tango in Halifax, Cilla, and Foyles War, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Shameless and lots of Hollyoaks, to name a few.
Have you had a variety of roles in these productions, or do they usually use you for the same type of part?
Oh I have had a lot of different roles, but admit I have been a nurse several times, especially in Corrie and Hollyoaks and a policewoman several times in the latter.
Are you happy with your life now as it stands, or do you still have a burning ambition that you haven't achieved yet?
My life is so amazing I feel so lucky to have met my Simon, already had two beautiful children, Liam and Stacey, and then was so lucky to have my healthy baby Lily at forty three years old. I dont wish for anything more....... apart from good health and happiness of course....... I would like to have some small speaking roles, I have only done that on 'Hollyoaks' and 'Britain's Darkest Taboos'. I have had lots of walk on 2's that's when you get more featured, but most of all I do background which I'm more than happy with.
So where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years time I will be fifty six years old and I can only hope that my life is as happy..... maybe replace Liz behind the bar in the Rovers or be the new waitress in the Bistro, now that would make my life complete! :-)
You would be perfect running the Rovers, with your pub experience, you would be a natural! I really hope it happens for you.
But while we are waiting for that to happen, why don't we take a look at your gallery. Thank you so much for talking with us today Sharon.