Ex-EastEnder likes to play troubled leading ladies

Ex-EastEnders star Michelle Collins sometimes misses starring as Cindy Beale in the BBC soap. She played the cheating barmaid on and off for 10 years, last appearing in 1998.

Would she ever go back?

‘Sometimes I think it might be interesting,’ she admits. ‘I met Aaron Sidwell, who plays Cindy’s son Steven, the other day. It’s so strange the way she lives on, even though I’m not in it any more.

‘It’s almost harder to shake Cindy off now than it was a few years ago. Sometimes I think: “Oh my God, I may as well go back!” But other times I’m not so sure. Then again, they haven’t asked me for a while.’

Before she joined Albert Square, Michelle, 44, went to casting calls for all kinds of roles.

‘I fell over on the way to an audition in the 80s, hurting my leg and ripping my leopard-print tights,’ she recalls. ‘I was bleeding and crying, so I hailed a cab to go home, but the cab driver thought I was a prostitute!’

Michelle, currently appearing in Rock Rivals on ITV1, has turned down reality shows Big Brother and Dancing On Ice.

Next she’d like to play a troubled leading lady.

‘I’d love to play someone like Det Supt Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect,’ she admits, ‘or a part in Desperate Housewives would be amazing. I love playing strong female characters, even if they are usually slightly flawed.’