Former Corrie bitch Eva Pope is being bad again as a conniving ex-Army nurse
Ever since she stared as Corrie’s vampish barmaid Tanya Pooley, Eva Pope’s steered clear of playing mean eaters. Until now.
After seven years, the lure of playing the bad girls’ proved to much and she’s now set to shake up Peak Practice, arriving this week as nurse Claire Brightwell when the show returns for a 12th series.
After serving in Kosovo, Claire is booted out of the Army and arrives in Cardale to start a new life. She heads to The Beeches in search of her old Armed Forces colleague Dr Alex Redman (Maggie O’Neill) and a job. And it soon becomes clear that she’s not afraid to use her womanly charms to get her own way.
‘It’s the first naughty role I’ve taken on since I left the street,’ says Eva.
‘I tried to get away from that for a while, but it’s dragged me back. I’ve enjoyed all the other roles I’ve had, but this is fun, and I can’t deny it any longer. This is my opportunity to do thing that I don’t do in my normal life. For instance, Claire’s not inhibited, which I am, and she’s not particularly moral.’
The first episode in the new series also sees regulars Tom Deneley (Gray O’Brien) and Alex going to the aid of an injured climber called Teri (Jessica Harris) on a cliff.
Eva’s enjoyed a string of roles since leaving Corrie in 1994 to avoid being typecast. They include parts in Grafters with Robson Green and My Fragile Heart with ex-corrie colleague Sarah Lancashire.
She also appeared in Peak Practice, most recently as a young mum whose son was involved in a fall. And although she’s enjoyed working on the series, Eva’s not sure if she’ll be back for another.
‘I find it hard to stay in a job for a long time. I understand the benefits but I get itchy feet,’ she admits. ‘I was only in Coronation Street for a year and I battled to get out of there. I like to keep on challenging myself and discovering new characters.’
One drawback to filming in Derbyshire, where the drama is set, is that Eva had to spend time away from her daughter Elise. Since Eva and husband Laurence live in London, it meant she was lucky to see her daughter once a week.
Next up for Eva is the possibility of a couple of film parts, including a movie in the US. In fact, the actress from Wigan would love to move to America. ‘It may still happen, but I haven’t had a chance because I’ve been working all the time,’ she says. ‘I’m not attracted by the fame and the Hollywood lifestyle – it’s getting the work that I find satisfying.’
For now, expanding the family’s also on her mind. ‘I’m desperate for more children,’ says Eva. ‘Being a mum has made me more ambitious because I want to do well and make money for Elise and future kids,’